“I can share it with my family.” — Amelia Erikson on how baking cupcakes brings her happiness and helps her open up about her mental illness.
Michayla Savitt hangs out with Amelia Erikson, a 2016 psychology and neuroscience graduate of Ithaca College with bipolar II disorder, in Episode 8 of The Scoop on Mental Health. In “Keying into Emotions,” Amelia shares stories about the evolution of her mental illness starting in childhood, and how she devised personal ways of coping without medication—including the happiness she feels when baking cupcakes. “The other great thing about that is I can share it with my family,” she explains. “If I’m in a little bit of a happier mood while baking, it’s a really good time to be talking to them and sort of explaining how I have been feeling.”
“That’s got me through the hardest moments.” — Mental health advocate Dayna Altman on how helping others has helped her deal with her own mental disorders.
In Episode 7 of The Scoop on Mental Health, Michayla travels to Boston to meet Dayna Altman, who’s pursuing a career in public health inspired by the people who helped her through her own mental health challenges. In “Changing the Tape,” Dayna talks about both losing and gaining control with a mental illness, and the multiple advocacy projects that have come out of her experiences. As she tells Michayla: “Planning, helping other people, it’s what drives me, it’s what I love, it’s what I want to do the rest of my life. I think that’s got me through the hardest moments.”
“I need to talk about it so other people can talk about it.” — Padriac Lillis on writing and performing in a play about suicide.
Episode 6 of Michayla Savitt’s The Scoop on Mental Health features Brooklyn-based artistic director Padriac Lillis, who discusses Hope You Get To Eleven, his play inspired by a former student’s suicide and his own struggle with depression. In “Nobody Talks About This,” Padriac explores the emotional process of bringing the difficult subject matter to the stage. “I have a story to tell, not because it’s my story, because I need to talk about it so other people can talk about it,” he says.
“You’re never not yourself.” — Actor Brooke Shilling on mental health and the art of performing
In Episode 5 of The Scoop on Mental Health, Michayla sits down with Brooke Shilling, an actress who delves into the mental energy and awareness needed when she’s performing. In “Check it at the Door,” Brooke describes the difficulty of putting real life aside when she has a role to play, but how she holds onto her own experiences in that process. “Transformative acting is amazing, but you’re never not yourself,” Brooke says. “We are the sum of our own experiences even when portraying experiences and people that we’re not.”
Actor Brooke Shilling discusses the effect acting has on mental health—it’s not easy to put aside your life when you’re performing, yet holding onto experiences helps her bring real life to her characters.
In Episode 4 of The Scoop on Mental Health podcast, Michayla meets Chris Biehn, who describes how bipolar disorder has affected his quality of life and how he has found the strength to inspire others as a mental health advocate. In “Finding Hope in a Colorless World,” we hear about the onset of Chris’s mental illness, the benefits of being candid about his struggle, and the campaign he launched to promote mood disorders acceptance. “The most meaningful connections are made when we’re vulnerable,” Chris tell us. “Find people you can be vulnerable with, so you can have those really neat, deep, and meaningful friends.”
“Finding Hope in a Colorless World” [Episode 4] Listen Chris Biehn relates how living with bipolar disorder inspires him to help others with their own mental health struggles.