Interview conducted by: Kevin Ray – Egyptian Theatre Intern
Deanna is the executive director at the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board. I had a chance to interview her about the upcoming Paper Tigers Documentary held at the Egyptian Theatre on May 16th at 7:00pm. This showing is free and open to the pubic, and will include a panel discussion after the film.
Kevin: Tell me a little bit about your organization?
Deanna: My organization is a governmental organization, the DeKalb County Community Mental Health Board (DCCMHB). We are a unit of county government, authorized by statute to use tax payer dollars (from property taxes) to fund services for DeKalb County resident around mental health, substance use disorders and developmental disabilities.
Kevin: Tell me why you are looking to show this documentary?
Deanna: In partnership with the DeKalb County Juvenile Justice Council, the DeKalb County Youth Services Bureau and Hope Haven, we are committed to making DeKalb County a trauma-informed community. That means a community that involves understanding, recognizing and responding to the effects of all types of trauma and to help survivors rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.
Kevin: What conversations do you hope will be inspired by you showing this documentary?
Deanna: We hope to engage in conversations about behaviors we label as “bad” or “risky” that are actually a response to trauma in one’s life. We want people to talk about recognizing that others may have different types of trauma in their lives, and that all people experience and define trauma a little differently.
Kevin: Why did you decide to partner with the Egyptian Theatre?
Deanna: We can’t imagine showcasing an event like this anywhere else. The Egyptian Theatre is at the center of our community and therefore is a comfortable place, even to deal with uncomfortable topics.
Kevin: What are you looking forward to most about showing this documentary?
Deanna: Engaging others in this important work. If we can get even 1 or 2 people to become champions of trauma informed care, we have made DeKalb County a better place to be.