Sunday, October 17, 2010

The two emails below give you an idea of how my "Gaining Insight Campaign" continues to surprise me:

Hi Amber,

Our Mental Illness Awareness Week has concluded and I wanted to write and tell you what an impact your video had on the people who viewed it. We were unable to secure a speaker for our candlelight vigil, so we opted to show your video to the group instead. There were a couple of people attending who suffer from schizophrenia and I think it may have had the biggest impact on them. Seeing themselves portrayed as people of strength and courage instead of people needing to be medicated and pitied surely gave them a much needed sense of pride. I congratulate and thank you for that. All the others that watched the video were very moved and quite surprised at many of the statistics. We were unable to show the video at the art exhibit - the setting wasn't right. However, we were able to show it at our NAMI Family-to-Family Class that week. It so happened to fall during the week we were doing our "empathy" workshop, which made it fit in quite nicely. Everyone was very impressed and everyone wanted your website address!

We plan to use this video again in May during Mental Health Month and hope to have a showing at the library and invite either a psychiatrist or mental health worker to speak. I'd also like to get a copy of the video that is online on your website. The one that shows each of your pieces and the narrative that describes what each one represents. Could I possibly get that from you? I'd be happy to pay the shipping charges, just let me know how much and I'll mail you a check.

Thank you again for sharing your beautiful artwork - it makes such a powerful statement and all of us who are in this fight to break stigma and educate the public about mental illnesses appreciate everything you're doing.

NAMI Mobile Alabama


Dear Amber,

My name is … with the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT (web link here). This month, we are celebrating our tenth anniversary. At this event, our director, Robert Desimone, will give a talk to a large audience about our mission to understand the brain in health and disease. I have been looking for compelling images to illustrate the gravity of psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia and I came across your very moving gallery on

Would you possibly be willing/interested in giving us permission to use your 'psychiatric' painting image in Robert Desimone's talk? Thanks very much and I look forward to hearing back from you.

McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT: Understanding the Brain in Health and Disease



  1. Congratulations on getting a good response. May many more be touched by your positive influence.

    Kate : )

  2. I have not posted here in a while, but after reading what Gov Shwartznegger has vetoed, I felt those concerned with mental health should be aware.
    Mental health services were cut by 133 million to California schools'special education students.
    These crucial services (which include individual and group therapy, crisis counseling, case management, and residential placement) impact students with many disabilities. These programs are especially important to students with autism who often struggle with behavioral as well as brain-based (developmental) disorders.

    These programs can also serve as vital to early intervention and diagnosis for children with mental illness. The unintended consequences can be devastating.