2) GoFundMe page–here–if you’d like to donate to help me film the pilot–cost of makeup, clothes, photography, etc. Any amount is appreciated.
I haven’t been able to post as frequently on Fashionably ill ® as I would like to lately and there are a few reasons for that–all of them good reasons. Recently, I got offered a contract on the book I wrote. Also, I’ve been filming a pilot for a TV show. I’ve been working to help pass a bill that would increase the number of psychiatric beds in this country for people with the most severe mental illnesses. I’ve been juggling all of these things with my job-job, coaching high school debate.
I can’t go into too many details now but sufficed to say, I wrote a book years ago. Then, my life was invaded by a neuromuscular autoimmune hurricane known as myasthenia gravis. For eight years, I fought hard to stay alive because I wanted to see my nieces and nephew grow up and because I wanted to see the book published. I have started working on rewrites of my manuscript. The final product will be a lot like my TEDx Talk, “How To Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” It’s going to be half how to–half memoir, on the same subject. The best way to stay up to date on the status of my book is to subscribe to my free newsletter here. (Also, if you subscribe, you get my free Depression Tool Kit, which comes with a list of the top 10 tricks for getting stuff done when you are depressed + 4 scripts for explaining depression or bipolar disorder to loved ones, professors, and employers.)
The TV Show
I’ll be writing more about the show soon but all I can say now is that it’s fun. It’s a TV show that will help many people and create awareness for many illnesses. The past month, I’ve been securing locations to film and plotting things out with the videographer. We are looking for our second camera man or camera woman. (If you know someone who’s a good fit in the Chicago area, email me at email@example.com.) We’ll be filming in November and December.
Last December, Anthony Hernandez asked me for help in passing HR 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. Anthony’s son has paranoid schizophrenia. The bill had been stalled in Congress for three years. I agreed and got to meet many people who have testified before Congress in favor of the bill–people with paranoid schizophrenia, families whose children have paranoid schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and parents who lost their children to mental illness. In June, I wrote about their stories in The Huffington Post, “HR 2646: The Families of the 4 Percent Speak Out.” A few days later, HR 2646 passed markup in the House’s Energy and Commerce Committee. In July, a much modified, less controversial version of HR 2646 passed the House of Representatives 422 to 2. (You can read more about the current version here on Pete Earley’s website.) Right now, we are waiting to see what the Senate does. I’ve been one part of a big team of advocates stretched across the country. Something I’ve learned from this experience that I did not write about in my HuffPost article is the unconditional love of parents. I met many families, and I was in awe of the sacrifices parents made for their grown children. When everyone else has left, the parents are still there.
Watch Me Speak Online! November 5th
I’ll be speaking at the Disability Intersectionality Summit on Saturday, November 5th at 1:40 pm! You can register for the event here. The Nonprofit Center of Boston is hosting the summit but I am presenting virtually. Half the speakers are presenting virtually; many guests are also attending virtually. You can watch me speak from the comfort of your own computer if you’re not in the Boston area. The title of my speech is, “Breaking Down Barriers in Asian-American Mental Health.”
–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno
P.S. Everyone remember Rerun? Yes, you can get season 1 of What’s Happening Now!! here on Amazon. You’re welcome.