Mental illness can affect anyone regardless of intelligence, social class or income level. Yet people living with a mental illness are frequently victims of a society that often shows little tolerance for their illness.Increasing public awareness and education will create a community with greater understanding, cooperation and support for those living with a mental illness. A supportive community will offer a new sense of safety that will have countless benefits for everyone concerned.

When we treat each other with kindness, every day miracles occur. When a person feels understood, appreciated and valued his or her self-esteem grows This often sets the creative juices flowing from which wonderful things can occur. One kind act sets in motion another and another.

Writing and performing one’s personal stories is a very courageous and empowering endeavor. Through this process the actors and writers will achieve much healing and strengthening. Performing these stories publicly goes beyond the personal and demonstrates to audience members how their stories are universal. They go beyond the actors and the stage. They are our next-door neighbour, the people we see at work and on the streets and they are you and me.

With compassion and understanding we can begin to let go of our fears and take down our walls of shame and separation. As we do this, we begin to recognize that underneath our fears we really are all the same. Together we can begin to build a community of faith, co-operation and mutual respect. This is the core vision of Madness, Masks and Miracles.

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