Community Read Designed to Stop the Stigma Around Addiction and Mental Health Issues

Community Read Designed to Stop the Stigma Around Addiction and Mental Health Issues
Posted on 03/06/2020
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May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and the City of West Allis, the West Allis-West Milwaukee Mental Health and Substance Abuse Task Force, West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, and Aurora Health Care are partnering to offer a full month of activities that will encourage conversation about addiction and mental health issues and work to #stopthestigma surrounding these issues in the community.

Community members are invited to read the novels "Beautiful Boy" by David Sheff and "Tweak" by David’s son, Nic Sheff. These true stories offer a father and son’s perspective through the son’s journey of addiction and recovery. 

In May for community events designed to inspire, unite, and #stopthestigma to encourage those who may need help to connect with community resources. 

Books, audiobooks, and ebooks are available through
West Allis Public Library.  Special thanks to the Rotary Club of West Allis for generously donating funding towards the purchase of 120 copies of the book "Beautiful Boy" to distribute throughout the community.

Tips & Trends from the WA/WM Heroin Opiate Task Force


Friday, May 1: Kick-Off | West Allis Public Library | 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Pick up a copy of "Beautiful Boy" to read and share and explore activities designed to raise awareness of addiction issues in our community. 

Tuesday, May 5: "Beautiful Boy" Film Showing and Student Art Show | Dottke High School | 6:30 p.m. View student art displays and join the community for a free showing of the
2018 film "Beautiful Boy" starring Steve Carell.

Monday, May 11: Community Talk Back | Village of Manor Park Senior Community Club | 2 p.m.

Join Librarians from West Allis Public Library for a conversation about the books and the film. Share your thoughts and experiences and discover what other readers think about the Sheffs’ stories.

Tuesday, May 12: "Beautiful Boy" Film Showing | West Allis Public Library | 6 p.m.

If you’re unable to view the film on May 5, another opportunity will be available on May 12 at West Allis Public Library.

Thursday, May 14: Paint Your Emotions | Inspiration Studios Gallery | 6:30 p.m.

Explore the power of art to express emotion in a casual, comfortable painting class. All materials provided, no experience necessary. Registration is required via Inspiration Studio’s website, or call 414-587-3474 to reserve your seat.

Saturday, May 16: Community Talk Back | West Allis Public Library | 10 a.m.

West Allis Public Library’s monthly Books & Coffee book club will feature "Beautiful Boy" in May. Join this open book club on Saturday, May 16 to discuss the book.

Tuesday, May 19: Parenting Differently: A Workshop for Parents | West Allis Public Library | 6 - 7:30 p.m. West Allis-West Milwaukee School District staff will offer guidance and tools for parents to teach resilience, coping skills, and supportive mental health tactics to decrease the likelihood that children will engage in behaviors that may lead to addiction. Parents, please leave children at home for this event.

Thursday, May 21: Teen & Tween Improv Night | West Allis Public Library | 6:30 - 8 p.m.

Acting improvisation is not only fun, but teaches self-confidence, supports stress relief, and enhances communication skills. No experience is necessary! Inspiration Studios Gallery staff invite teens and tweens to explore the power of improv through games and activities. 

Tuesday, May 26: Community Talk Back | West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation Center | 6 p.m.

As Mental Health Month winds down, we offer one more opportunity to join your neighbors in conversation about the books, mental health issues, and battling addiction both at home and in our community. Come share your thoughts.

Thursday, May 28: Reflections of Wellness | West Allis Central High School | 6 - 8 p.m.

Advocate-Aurora Health Care, West Allis Health Department, and West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation & Community Services host their annual Reflections of Wellness, an evening designed to refresh and strengthen body and mind. Keynote speaker Katherine Reuter-Adamek, two-time Olympic short track speed skating medalist, will speak on resilience and self-esteem.

Break out sessions include:

  • Body Image and Self-Acceptance with Lisa Kendall and Christine Campbell

  • Mindfulness with Kim Stephens and Kristin Wick

  • Tai Chi for Resiliency with John Burns

  • Communication skills, art classes, and more