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Local Mom Writes Play to Address Mental Illness in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE – (Dec. 17, 2020) – There is no question that the need for mental health services is of utmost importance for Milwaukee and the nation at this time. As a way to bring awareness to the resources currently available and warning signs friends and loved ones should look for, Light & Unite Red, a campaign spearheaded by the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division (BHD), is partnering with Brenda Wesley to host the virtual premiere of her play, “Pieces: In My Own Voice.” It can be viewed on Monday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. by visiting

“There is always an increase in need for mental health services during the holidays, and that’s only been exacerbated this year because of the pandemic,” said Nzinga Khalid, Prevention Coordinator at BHD. “Our hope is that by showing ‘Pieces’ virtually, it will allow viewers to connect and spark a conversation that will continue to help us break the stigma around mental illness.”

“Pieces” is an engaging play that will bring viewers into the world of someone living with a mental illness. Throughout the play, the audience will journey through the turmoil and pain of a crisis, they will feel the relief of self acceptance, and they will be uplifted by recovery. Various stories will be told through short vignettes and monologues that cover a wide range of mental health diagnoses. Music and dance will drive these stories while live theater and recorded video will weave together entertaining and educational messages.

At the conclusion of “Pieces,” there will be a short Q&A session with writer and director Brenda Wesley, along with a discussion about community resources available to those in need.

“I created ‘Pieces’ as part of my mission to educate communities, create awareness, and decrease stigma around mental illness and addiction,” said writer and director Brenda Wesley. “Two of my family members live with mental illness, so I know firsthand how this can impact those you care about. ‘Pieces’ offers a glimpse at the hardships faced and how we can overcome them. It’s important that people know even in their darkest moments, there is help out there and resources available.”