Author and Northern Arizona native Erin Callinan will challenge community members to take a radically new view of mental health disorders when she talks about her recently published book Beautifully Bipolar: An Inspiring Look into Mental Illness. The evening event is set for Friday, June 13, at Davis Learning Center on the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Campus.
Sponsored by the City of Prescott Police Department, Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBHA), West Yavapai Guidance Clinic Foundation and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University the author talk is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:00 pm. The talk will be followed by question and answer session and book signing, which will conclude at 9:00 pm.
Beautifully Bipolar: An Inspiring Look into Mental Illness is an optimistic, honest and passionate account of Callinan’s experience with the devastating impact of Bipolar Disorder over a 13-year period, from the sudden and shocking first episode to a well-managed condition and an abundant life. Through the book, the author, who attended Sinagua High School and the University of Arizona, aims to assist marginalized people with mental health disorders to rise above their label of diagnosis.
“The words ‘beautiful’ and ‘inspiring’ don’t typically show up in stories of mental illness,” said Callinan. “People usually think of the worst case scenario when they learn you have a mental illness because they know very little about it. Their fear leads to stigma that can be so incredibly damaging,” she said.
In her book, Callinan shares the story of her recovery through well-managed care and support from her parents and family who, by educating themselves, reduced their fears and misunderstanding about bipolar disorder. She describes how learning about and managing her illness became their mission together as a family. “Once we understood it more clearly, I realized my diagnosis is just a word; it doesn’t define me. That’s when everything changed, and I knew it wouldn’t hold me back.”
By talking to the public, Callinan hopes to give people a clearer understanding of bipolar disorder to help them change their negative views and embrace the positive qualities of recovery.
About Erin Callinan
Erin Callinan is an author and active, passionate advocate for victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence.
In 2008, Callinan found her passion for advocacy while working as the shelter manager of a domestic violence emergency shelter for women and children in Flagstaff. She became a training facilitator for the Exodus Program and went into the Coconino County Jail in Flagstaff to speak to incarcerated women about domestic violence and healthy relationships. She served as a committee member on the Coordinated Community Response Team to Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault for 2 years, as well as the Child Abuse Committee with the Coalition for Children and Youth. Callinan also has participated on the Citizen Review Panel of Northern Arizona. In 2011, Erin moved to Phoenix and now works at the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, where she manages the training department. In early 2013, she became a volunteer Community Ambassador and Board Member for the non-profit organization, Unchained, which fights to end domestic minor sex trafficking. Erin is also involved in the New Pathways for Youth program, where she mentors an eight-year-old girl who previously lived in a homeless shelter.
In 2001, as a senior in high school, Callinan was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In May 2013, one week before her 29th birthday, Callinan published Beautifully Bipolar: An Inspiring Look into Mental Illness.
About City of Prescott Police Department
Our partnerships with community members and organizations serve as a multiplier in how the mission of the Prescott Police Department is carried out successfully each and every day. Our Mission Statement is: ‘to provide the highest level of service in a collaborative effort with our community to protect life, property, and the rights of citizens.’ Our volunteers are one example of community members stepping up and serving the public safety needs of Prescott. The citizens on patrol program utilizes the eyes and ears of trained, uniformed volunteers to help spot and report matters of concern to the police department. Their willingness to give their time and talent makes Prescott safer. Several other volunteer programs exist and each one contributes to the daily success of the mission. Prescott is better because of these caring and dedicated men and women. I encourage you to visit the volunteer information section of this website to learn more about this program.
About WYGC Foundation
Since 1966, the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic (WYGC) has been meeting needs in the local community by offering mental health, crisis and addiction services. Established by visionary volunteers in the Prescott area, the founding Board saw a community where all health care needs could be met. Then in 1986, the related but separate WYGC Foundation was created to support current WYGC program and pursue new initiatives which continue to serve our community. The 501(c)3 WYGC Foundation supports the West Yavapai Guidance Clinic by raising funds that make a critical difference within our community and increase the awareness of local a behavioral and health issues. Over the last year, some 7,000 people were treated in West Yavapai Guidance Clinic programs.
Northern Arizona Regional Behavioral Health Authority (NARBHA) is a non-profit managed care organization advancing integrated primary care and behavioral health services in Mohave, Yavapai, Coconino, Navajo and Apache counties for people with behavioral health disorders. Established in 1967, NARBHA serves a 62,000-square-mile region through a network of more than 75 agencies delivering inpatient, outpatient and recovery services. Through its community reinvestment grants, NARBHA promotes its innovative incentive model that commits integrated primary care services throughout its network. Behavioral health and substance abuse services are funded through a contract with the Arizona Department of Health Services/Division of Behavioral Health Services and AHCCCS.
About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Campus
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s western campus is located in Prescott, AZ, north of Phoenix and a day trip away from Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and picturesque Sedona. Nestled in the scenic Bradshaw Mountains, the high-desert climate offers exceptional flying conditions, with nearly 300 days of sunshine a year. The Prescott Campus is located on 539 acres of scenic western terrain, with campus life for approximately 1,850 students centered in a one-mile area that includes academic, residential, and recreational resources.