VA Features FoC

By Antony Kamps

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today that sheds his blood with me, Shall be my brother; be ne’er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition.” – William Shakespeare (King Henry V)

There are many ways of treating mental health conditions; creative arts are used by the Milwaukee VA as a form of treatment. Mental health patients can find solace in writing, singing, or even acting. The “Feast of Crispian,” using works of Shakespeare, sounds like acting but it’s not. 

The healing process is a long, and difficult, road for those dealing with depression and drugs and alcohol addictions. Traditionally people take part in group therapy or one-on-one sessions and talk about their issues. “Feast of Crispian” defies traditional treatment, instead using words from the works of William Shakespeare to deal with their issues. 

“I’ve been in hours and hours of therapy, nothing ever reached me at the level that this did,” said Tomra Gorski, a veteran and participant in the program. “I was still hiding behind my walls; if you just let it work it’s an amazing journey.”

Nancy Smith-Watson, a professional actress, and one of the three facilitators of the program, talked about how the program is about therapy not performing.

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