World Mental Health Day is Wednesday, October 10, 2018. To celebrate the birth of her debut Young Adult novel on that day, Jamie Weil is holding a contest currently under way to open up conversations surrounding mental health and suicide awareness. The essay competition for North State high school seniors aims to get students talking about youth mental health and suicide awareness. The selected student will not only be given a scholarship to the college or university they are heading to in Fall of 2019, but will also receive an autographed copy of First Break and an opportunity to be interviewed for the docuseries Weil is currently writing and producing called, “A Crazy Thought,” which aims to spread hope and help to youth, families, and teachers.
“All my creative work at this point in my life emanates out of one mission,” says Weil. “To shift the landscape of youth mental health and suicide awareness to one of hope and help. I’m tired of seeing wasted potential of our teens and transitional youth and I want to do what I can to help change that.”
Weil, a mom and former elementary school teacher, believes education of youth is key. She will take the debut novel and curriculum into classrooms throughout the United States in an effort to get students proactively thinking and talking about mental/brain illness. Weil has been a mental health advocate for the past two decades. She has taught multiple NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) signature programs throughout California, served on state and regional mental health advocacy boards that give parents a voice, and has made a new conversation about youth mental health her current mission.
The student who wins the scholarship essay will show deep thinking about the question “When was the last time you called somebody crazy, or somebody called you crazy, and how did you feel about that?” Contest rules are found at www.firstbreakscholarship.net.
First Break is the story of 17-year-old Paige Masters moving through her heroine’s journey as she experiences her first psychotic break with no awareness of what is happening.
Weil will join with Redding NAMI to hold a book signing and talk at Redding Barnes & Noble on Saturday, November 17 at 2:00. Talk will start at 2:00 for the first half hour and book signing will continue until 5:00 pm. Barnes & Noble is located at 1260 Churn Creek Road, Redding, CA 96003.
Weil grew up attending elementary school in Cottonwood, high school in Anderson, attended college at UCLA then moved back a decade ago, a mile from where she grew up. Her first published work, when she was 7, was the poem “Red” which her teacher sent in to the Record Searchlight.
First Break will be released on October 10, World Mental Health Day, and will be available on Amazon, Kindle, and in local bookstores. Weil will donate a copy to all local libraries.