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“A Conversation about Mental Health” Panel Discussion

Three speakers will share personal experiences about bipolar disorder and ways that the stigma of mental health can be eliminated

As part of its Dialogues on disABILITY Speaker Series, the Museum of disABILITY History will host a free presentation called, “A Conversation about Mental Health,” on Friday, December 1, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at its location, 3826 Main Street, Buffalo, NY. The panel discussion will feature Keith O’Neil, former NFL football player who wrote a memoir titled, Under My Helmet: A Football Players Lifelong Battle with Bipolar Disorder; Karl Shallowhorn, who contributed to the book, Buffalo State Hospital: A History of the Institution in Light and Shadow; and Stephen Nawotniak, author of Handbook for Healthy Living with a Mood Disorder

The speakers will share their personal stories, discuss key components of getting help and maintaining health, along with helpful tips for relationships and the workplace. They will also discuss ways that the stigma of mental health can be eliminated. 

O’Neil is a former NFL football player who played for the Dallas Cowboys, Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants. During his professional career, he served as team captain and was a member of the Colts Super Bowl XLI Championship team. O’Neil played in the NFL with an undiagnosed mental illness of bipolar disorder. He is the president and founder of the 4th and Forever Foundation, which brings awareness to mental health and funds research for mental illness. He is passionate about helping others with mental health issues and is devoted to erasing the stigma of mental illness.

Karl Shallowhorn is the director of Community Advocacy for the Mental Health Association of Erie County and Compeer of Greater Buffalo. He is a New York State Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse counselor, a certified Mental Health First Aid instructor and a mental health consultant. Shallowhorn serves on the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Association in New York State and the Erie County Mental Hygiene Services Board. Shallowhorn’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder and his role as clinician have given him unique perspectives. 

Stephen Nawotniak was diagnosed in 2012 with bipolar disorder after a weeklong hospitalization for severe depression and is in the process of recovery. In his book, Nawotniak offers an experienced-based sharing of skills and tools. Relying on his expertise as a licensed occupational therapist, he focuses on constructing a meaningful quality of life using skills that are effective and important, while addressing the needs unique to bipolar disorder. He is also the author of the Mubu the Morph children’s book series, which speaks to the inner journey people face as they discover their purpose. 

During the event, there will be books for sale and each presenter will be available for book signings. Event registration is encouraged. For more information or to RSVP, email David Mack-Hardiman at dmack@people-inc.org or call 716-629-3626.

Established in 1998, the Museum of disABILITY History, a project of People Inc., is the only one of its kind in the United States and is dedicated to advancing the understanding, acceptance and independence of people with disabilities. Located in Buffalo, NY, the Museum’s exhibits, collections, publications, archives and educational programs create awareness and a platform for dialogue and discovery.

 

1219 North Forest Road | P.O. Box 9033 | Williamsville, New York 14231
Phone: 716.817.7400 | Toll Free NY 1.888.7PEOPLE | Fax: 716.634.3889

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