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WEDNESDAY // MAY 23, 2018

As as advocate of spreading mental health awareness and action increasingly to the United States, we feel it is our obligation to continue to highlight the mental health events occurring in our neighborhoods. We now know the alarming U.S. statistic of those suffering from a mental health issue - 1 in 5. We now understand the severity of the issue and the resources we must continue to create in order for everyone to get the help they need and deserve.  

The WE RISE mental health festival in Downtown Los Angeles aims to change old mental health perceptions and display new systems of self-care all humans rightfully need and deserve. In a popular, national initiative to change the culture, more and more free mental wellness events are beginning to pop up around the country.

The event kicked off last weekend on May 19 and will continue through May 28. WE RISE features over 150 artists exhibiting original work to call for mental health action and present over 50 hours of workshops and creative programming. WE RISE will even hold an art lab with activities meant to improve the overall community understanding of mental health.

If you missed last weekend’s events, there are still some very important topics occurring now through the end of this upcoming weekend:

  • Suicide: The Ripple Effect Screening
  • When: Friday, May 25, 5:30pm - 7pm

The documentary film “Suicide: The Ripple Effect” outlines the aftermath of suicide and positive effects of advocacy, inspiration and hope that help keep millions alive and eventually heal. The focus is on attempted suicide survivor and world-renowned mental health advocate Kevin Hines who speaks about his incredible mental health journey.

Our industry has lost too many loved ones too soon - too many amazing and creative individuals have died by suicide. Although several were not given a second chance such as Hines, this film is sure to touch others and potentially cause life-changing differences.  

  • Breaking the Silence
  • When: Friday, May 25, 7pm - 8:30pm

This segment tackles the silence and isolation associated with conversations about suicide, despite the fact one million lives are lost each year globally. In hopes to toss the taboo, this segment aims to de-stigmatize suicide by humanizing the stories once hidden in the dark.

  • Get Free Yoga & Meditation
  • When: Saturday, May 26, 10am - 11:30am

Utilizing yoga as a tool to nourish mental health has been nothing new. In fact, the trend began in the 70s to treat depression and anxiety. According to, yoga can actually reduce the heart rate, lower blood pressure and ease respiration as well as increase heart rate variability, the body’s capacity to respond to stress more flexibly.

WE RISE offers an informed yoga session with a purpose to release trauma, shame, anger and more.

Lead by: Jessamyn Stanley & JoAnna Harper

  • Mindful Kids Story Time
  • When: Saturday, May 26, 10am - 11am

A huge step in changing the stigma for our future points at how we raise our children to perceive mental health. As we’ve mentioned in our previous piece about mental health, putting our time and energy into the prevention of emotional suffering is a great start to ensuring our children are emotionally healthy to begin with. Dr. Van Dahlen previously told us how we teach children about issues such as drugs and sex but we don’t spend much time helping them grow emotionally fit.

This segment offers a mid-morning mindful reading exercise using children’s storybooks, entertainers and activists. Aimed to calm children's’ busy minds and bodies, this segment provides tools parents can implement beyond the event.

Special guest: Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks

Be sure to check out these last few events of WE RISE this weekend! Of course encouraged to attend in person, WE RISE will live stream multiple segments of the festival on all social media accounts @werise_la.

To view the entire list of artists, click here.   

To view the entire event calendar in detail, click here.