On Thursday, October 9th, and Friday, October 10th, black lawmakers in partnership with pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly met in Indianapolis for the 20th Annual Black America’s Dialogue on Health conference. This year's conference was centered around Depression in the African American community. Jennifer Holliday , Tony and Grammy Award winner for her celebrated role in Broadway’s Dreamgirls, left the audience awestruck once again -- this time by sharing her brave and relate-able story of struggle and triumph over depression. In recounting her 20 year struggle with depression – a battle that led to a suicide attempt on her 30th birthday in 1990 -- Holliday spoke about the stigmas associated with mental health and mental illness which prevent many African American men and women from seeking help. She mentioned well-known figured such as Don Cornelius, citing his suicide as one of the unfortunate results of mental health not being addressed within the African American community. Holliday ended her account right where her story began, by belting out her famous hit, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”. Truly that is what Holliday declared to depression; in Holliday’s words from Friday, “I had to choose life”.
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