Many veterans report feeling misunderstood by their neighbors, family members, and lifelong friends when they return from service. This often causes veterans to reintegrate into their communities. The Telling Projective is an innovative approach that uses storytelling to build dialogue between individuals who have served in the military and the civilian community. Veterans and their family members step forward as performers and share their stories. These performances are powerful and address many important issues in our current culture including military sexual trauma, violence, racial and gender issues and socioeconomic inequalities.
The Telling Project has staged fifty productions in more than twenty-one different states. The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education partnered with The Telling Project and Piven Theatre to expand the production to Illinois, which has a significant veteran population. The goal was to utilize the performances to build bridges within communities. The performances took place at the Piven Theater in Evanston in October 2018.
The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institue for Mental Health Education partners with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Student Association for Military Mental Health on various educational programs. Furthermore, the institute is continually making connections with the local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legions to start the process of banding together and promoting social change. In November 2017, the Naomi Ruth Cohen Institute for Mental Health Education was honored to have Andy Weiss share the effects of the tragic loss of his son, 1st LT Daniel Weiss, to suicide.
The Naomi Ruth Cohen Institue for Mental Health Education was proud to present a half-day training on Stress Management for the 85th Army Reserve in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Two students from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; Tim Burnett and Brittney Briggs, facilitated experiential exercises that highlighted stress-related symptoms, coping strategies, and management styles. Jill Glenn, Director of Community Partnerships at The Chicago School, provided oversight of the project.