Novelist Sarah Schantz to speak on mental health at CMC campuses

Staff report
Glenwood Springs Post Independent
Sarah Elizabeth Schantz is the author of “Fig,” Colorado Mountain College’s Common Reader and a national award-winning novel about a daughter coping with her mother’s mental illness. Schantz and CMC faculty Kimberly Harding, who wrote an accompanying workbook, will give free presentations at area CMC locations this month.
Courtesy Photo

Award-winning novelist Sarah Schantz will visit Colorado Mountain College’s (CMC) Glenwood Springs, Rifle and Aspen campuses this month to bring attention to mental health issues.

Schantz, author of the novel “Fig,” which won the 2016 Colorado Book Award and was National Public Radio’s Best Book selection in 2015, will speak at CMC campuses across the Rocky Mountains as part of CMC’s Common Reader program. The novel portrays a young woman who struggles between fantasy and reality to cope with her mother’s mental illness.

CMC biology professor Kimberly Harding, author of mental wellness workbook “Ascend and Transcend,” will moderate a presentation and discussion with Schantz exploring mental health issues through the novel’s protagonist. Harding’s workbook is supported by a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation.

“We applied for this Colorado Health Foundation grant because we recognize that mental health and mental illness are critically important to our students, employees and communities,” said Lisa Doak, assistant vice president of student services at CMC.

The events will be open to the public as well as students and faculty CMC. Schantz will speak at the Rifle CMC campus at 7 p.m. Oct. 23, and at the Aspen location at 10 a.m. and the Morgridge Commons in Glenwood Springs on Oct. 24.

Copies of the novel and workbook are available at Garfield County libraries and the CMC campuses in Rifle and Aspen.