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Former SNL star to appear at ‘Faces of Resilience’ event

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond will be appearing at the event to show his documentary “Cracked Up,” a film depicting his traumatic childhood experiences and how he overcame them. Courtesy of STAR

The Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health’s Stress, Trauma and Resilience program at Ohio State will be hosting its tenth annual Faces of Resilience event Wednesday, featuring former Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond.

Hammond will be appearing at the event to show his documentary “Cracked Up,” a film depicting his traumatic childhood experiences and how he overcame them. The director of the film, Michelle Esrick, will also be making an appearance at the event.

Amanda Lucas, executive director of clinical operations at Ohio State’s Neurological Institute, said the documentary is a prime example of how to deal with long-lasting traumatic stress.

“The documentary really goes through his struggle with overcoming that trauma and it really speaks to a more common issue than what’s known to the common layperson in the community, in that traumatic events in a child hood have long term effects into adulthood,” Lucas said.

The documentary will be followed by a Q&A session with Hammond and Esrick facilitated by Ken Yeager, clinical director of the STAR program. The Q&A will highlight one of the most difficult parts of dealing with trauma, bringing up dark pasts, Lucas said.

“His questions will be pointed at what helped in overcoming the trauma? What helped with recognizing the trauma? Because often, those memories are repressed,” Lucas said.

While the event is a tribute to people dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, it is also for people wanting to know more about the topic of trauma and how it can affect others, Arianna Galligher, program coordinator for the STAR Trauma Recovery Center, said.

“Part of raising awareness is to educate the general public and whether you yourself are struggling with symptoms or whether it’s just a topic that you’d like more information about, I think it’s just a really relevant film,” Galligher said. “Everyone knows someone who has had to overcome a struggle, and so I do think the topic is related to the general public even if that specific person isn’t struggling themselves.”

STAR created Faces of Resilience to help people that struggle with a number of mental illnesses, and to show how to deal with your past, no matter how traumatic it might be, Galligher said.

“The department helps folks that are struggling with a variety of mental illness concerns, PTSD being one of those, so that’s why there’s the Face of Resilience,” Galligher said.

The annual event features guests, each one telling a different story from their past. However, this year was aimed towards bringing a guest who could demonstrate how to continue living everyday life while handling trauma everyday as well, Lucas said.

“Every year it takes a little bit of a different turn, this year we really wanted to focus on someone who would appeal to a large audience,” Lucas said. “We wanted to bring someone who really did have a story, that they overcame a specific childhood trauma. So really focusing on the impact of trauma, working through that traumatic realization of what happened and how it impacts one’s life and how to carry on with everyday life.”

“Cracked Up: The Darrell Hammond Story” won’t be in theaters until the fall, but it will be shown at the Mershon Auditorium on Wednesday. Doors open at 6 p.m. with the film starting at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 and student tickets are $5.

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