2013 GRANT AWARDEES
Rebecca’s Dream granted funds to Elyssa’s Mission. To provide resources to support at-risk teens and prevent suicide by teaching them that depression is a treatable illness. Elyssa’s Mission offers hands-on support to area schools, religious and community organizations to help educate students, staff and parents on how to recognize those teens most at risk.
Elyssa’s Mission much like Rebecca’s Dream enables Elyssa and Rebecca, respectively, to not just touch others’ lives but also, in many cases, to save them.
The main focus of Elyssa’s Mission is bringing the SOS Signs of Suicide program into area middle schools and high schools and assisting schools with program implementation. This program is able to assist school communities to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, as well as help them to identify at-risk teens and subsequently link them to needed services.
With funds granted by Rebecca’s Dream, five new schools will be supported by Elyssa’s Mission SOS program.
Erasing the Distance
Rebecca’s Dream is, once again, collaborating with Erasing the Distance to develop a new theatrical production in a docu-drama style that features true stories of families affected by depression.
Our funding to Erasing the Distance will create a new docudrama based on families affected by depression.
This project is the first joint program with which Rebecca’s Dream has become a partner. Rebecca’s Dream and Erasing the Distance will work together in various phases to create the program and then to present it. Rebecca’s Dream is very excited about this new orientation in funding efforts.
The production will be created September 2013-December 2014. It will be the closer to Erasing the Distance’s 2013-2014 artistic season, as a fully –staged, ticketed production for the public on December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16, 2014 at Theater Wit in Chicago. Opening night for this world premiere performance will include a catered reception.
The mission of Rebecca’s Dream to promote awareness and compassionate understanding of depression and bipolar disorder as real diseases could not be better aligned with Erasing the Distance. Over the course of our collaboration together, we have continued to find this to be true. Both of our organizations know many people hold powerful, ingrained, negative beliefs regarding mental illness. It is seen as a character weakness and something that people should just be able to get over or pull themselves out of on their own.
Storytelling can go a long way in challenging those notions and beliefs –and give audience members different perspectives to consider. Rebecca’s Dream and Erasing the Distance are deepening their partnership and collaboration in disarming the stigma associated with mental illness.