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From fear came 'circle of hope'

Music Festival for Mental Health, which has raised $22 million, marks 10th anniversary.

September 10, 2004|From Associated Press

RUTHERFORD, Calif. — Brandon Staglin was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 18. The way his parents saw it, they suddenly had two problems.

One was the disease, which they tackled by finding the right doctors, medication and therapy. The other was fear.

"No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to put it out there in the open," said Garen Staglin, Brandon's father and a Napa Valley vintner. "So we said, 'Let's get this as visible as possible.' "

The result was the Music Festival for Mental Health, celebrating its 10th anniversary this month. In addition to music, it will feature wine tasting, gourmet food and a lecture program.

The festival has raised more than $22 million in direct and matching funds for mental health research and treatment -- and tried to shine a light on a much-misunderstood subject.

"The circle of hope -- that really is an important part of what happens," Garen Staglin said. "Promising research leads to hope, which leads to openness, which leads to more people being willing to talk about it, and support and funding, which gives us the ability to get better research."

This year's festival, scheduled for Saturday, features a seminar by Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, followed by jazz from 2003 Grammy Award winner Norman Brown.

The seminar is free. The wine-tasting and concert cost $250.

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