Monday, May 11, 2020

Things To Do - Virtual Ability's Mental Health Un-Conference

Picture of colorful sticky notes on a cork board

What: Art & Mental Health
Who: Marylou Goldrosen
When: May 12, 9:00 am
Where: Yellow Hibiscus Cabana, Virtual Ability Island

  • Marylou Goldrosen will share images of paintings related to mental health from various times in history. We will learn a bit of history about the artists and their time period.
  • In RL, Marylou Goldrosen is Dr. Mary Stokrocki. She is a Distinguished Professor at Arizona State University. She teaches at NonProfit Commons in Second Life at her Art Ark.

What: Mental Health in Poetry
Who: Shyla the Super Gecko
When: May 13, 10:00 am
Where: Cape Serenity Library patio

  • Shyla will read poetry by poets with mental illness or on the topic of mental illness or mental health.
  • Shyla began writing poetry at a young age, including lyrical expression. She has been the featured reader at poetic venues within Second Life including Sunday Spoken Word and Circe's. Her work has been published in Second Life's REZ Magazine and in the physical world's The Fib Review. Shyla has an installation of her work on Ethnographia Island in Second Life.

What: Ability Strange Days Indeed!
Who: Coughran Mayo
When: May 14, 2:00 pm
Where: Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability

  • As with most everything else, the world-wide health crisis is having an impact on alcoholism and other drug addictions. Helping professionals are required to find new ways to reach people in need and deliver services. People are sheltering at home, but liquor stores are still considered “essential businesses” in many places, and sales of alcohol have increased dramatically. Mental health problems are accelerating and many will turn to drugs for relief. The economic impact on non-profit and for-profit treatment programs alike is profound, with experts predicting that 30 – 50% of the traditional treatment providers may not survive the next six months. The potentially large increase in the number of people showing signs of addiction as the crisis progresses, along with the likely reduction in resources available is setting up a crisis of dramatic proportion. What will the future bring?
  • Dick Dillon is the man behind the avatar Coughran Mayo. Mr. Dillon has over 30 years of experience in organization management, working with both for-profit and non-profit behavioral health organizations. He is the founder of the Cox CARE Center and co-creator of the Web of Addictions site (one of the first websites to provide accurate information about addiction). As an executive at Preferred Family Healthcare, he created Avatar Assisted Therapy, in which therapeutic interventions are delivered in a virtual environment. He is now CEO of Innovaision LLC, a consulting firm for non-profits wishing to work in virtual worlds.

What: Mental Illness in Literature
Who: Gentle Heron and Draxtor Despres
When: May 15, 6:00 am
Where: Sojourner Auditorium, Virtual Ability
  • Draxtor and Gentle, both avid readers, will discuss how mental illness has been portrayed in literature of all varieties. An amazing number of works of literature throughout history deal with various aspects of mental illness. A booklist of recommended readings will be provided.
  • Draxtor Despres (Bernard Drax in the physical world) is a German filmmaker, composer, and host of the Second Life Book Club. His recent feature film “Our Digital Selves” documents embodiment and place-making for people with disabilities in virtual worlds. He has been documenting SL via short reportages as the Drax Files since early 2007 and is now a contractor for Linden Lab.
  • Gentle Heron (Alice Krueger in the physical world) is President of Virtual Ability, Inc., which is the nonprofit that supports the Virtual Ability community in virtual worlds. She is a former educator and education researcher, sidelined by multiple sclerosis.

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