Depression knows no race, religion, orientation, or gender. Watch the films below to hear citizens throughout our city courageously share their own experiences with mental illness, lend advice on how to broker conversations with those in crisis, and testify as to how speaking up about your problems can lead you to the help you need and the life you desire.
Kenny Alexander, Mayor | City of Norfolk
Mayor Kenny Alexander has been an outspoken advocate of Mentally Healthy Norfolk Month. Hear how his family’s experience with mental illness has shaped both his perspective and policies.
Scott Taylor, Former US Congressman | VA 2nd District
Former Congressman Scott Taylor represented Virginia’s 2nd District, and also the largest population of military men and women who have dealt with depression and suicide of those with whom they served.
Barbara Ciara, Emmy Winning Newswoman | WTKR
Arguably the most recognizable face in local news, Barbara Ciara is no stranger to sharing stories. This one, about her sister’s bout with mental illness and her family’s struggle to understand it, is poignant.
Joe Baron, Sheriff | City of Norfolk
Sheriff Joe Baron reflects on the harsh realities of suicide scenes from his three decades on the job, and how his father’s depression proved to him that talking about it truly can save lives.
Sarah Serrano, O’Connor Brewing Company
As a working mother of two and a survivor, Sarah Serrano has learned to cope with her mental illness, and has broken the cycle of stigma in her own family.
Lauren Hope, Peer Specialist | City of Portsmouth
Living with depression can be a debilitating existence. Lauren Hope emphasizes the importance of how empathy can help to educate us on mental illness, and reduce the stigma around it.
Chris Hanna, Virginia Stage Company
When you take your own life, you don’t know the consequence of that decision on those you love. In this clip, Chris Hanna of the Virginia Stage Company shares a raw perspective on life after death.
Michelle Peterson, Sarah Michelle Peterson Foundation
After losing her daughter Sarah to suicide at 15, Michele Peterson was called to start a foundation aimed at preventing other parents from losing their children, and other teens from losing their lives.
Brad McMurran, Owner | Push Comedy Theater
As the owner of Norfolk’s Push Comedy Theater, Brad McMurran knows a thing or two about depression influencing art, and how the resilience to get through it can yield something amazing.
Talk About It Norfolk – PSA
With 1 in 4 Norfolk citizens living with a mental illness and 24 of our neighbors taking their own lives last year, it’s time we stopped whispering and started talking about it Norfolk.