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Slide 5

    At the rally, a group of 60 ex-patients, politicians, members of the press, DMH officials and clergy made a procession down to the cemeteries and placed a flower near a grave stone as a sign of commitment to restoring the cemeteries. Here you see Judy Robbins, a member of the Danvers State Memorial Committee, praying at the smaller of the two cemeteries. Judy is a former staff person and a former patient of Danvers State. This work can be deeply healing for many of us. It gives us a chance to come to terms with our experiences at the hospital - both the good and the bad - and to make a contribution as well. One of our groups' slogans has been, "It could have been me buried in there."
Slide 6
    In the summer of 1998 our group hacked through the brush and overgrowth in the cemeteries trying to determine how many people were buried there. Keeping group active and involved has been a key to the longevity and success of the Danvers State Memorial Committee. Some people ask if the work is depressing. We always say "no". Sure it is sad, but we are making a positive change and feel uplifted in that work.
Slide 7
    This is Bill Capone, a member of our groups, speaking with a TV news reporter in August of 1998. The media - TV, radio, magazines and newspapers - is very attracted to the story of state hospital cemetery restoration because it is a visual subject and has dynamic human interest angles. Of course, the media can help put pressure on state authorities to do the right thing and restore the cemeteries.
Slide 8
    Here is Mark Giles, a former patient at Danvers State, speaking with a TV news reporter. Restoring state hospital cemeteries offers ex-patients the opportunity to become civic leaders. When the media portrays us as community leaders restoring state hospital cemeteries, it helps to break the stigma associated with mental illness. We are portrayed, not as dangerous deviants, but as contributing community leaders.

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