TW: This article contains content that some readers may find distressing, including mentions of abuse, addiction, and assault.
Individuals familiar with Alanis Morissette’s 1995 album, Jagged Little Pill, can belt out the soul-baring lyrics that explore trauma in its many forms, but it’s another thing to see those topics addressed on stage. That’s just what the Broadway musical based on the popular album does. Jagged Little Pill the musical unflinchingly addresses many topics of trauma, including sexual assault, opiate addiction, transracial adoption, gender and LGBTQIA+ identity, marriage struggles, and mental health.
Central to the plot of Jagged Little Pill is an instance of sexual assault, which is briefly simulated onstage. While potentially triggering for some audience members, national statistics clearly demonstrate that it is a topic with which many people can relate. According to a study by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), everyone is affected by sexual violence – every 68 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted.
Another scene of Jagged Little Pill depicts an opioid overdose, where a woman is found unconscious in her home. In the United States alone, more than 932,000 people have died since 1999 from a drug overdose according to a study by the National Center for Health Statistics.
While the touring company of Jagged Little Pill offers some national resources for those who need help managing the topics addressed in the show, area resources also are available. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, has been a victim of sexual violence, or need mental health support, there are many resources that can help in the Denver area.
Colorado Crisis Services
24/7 Hotline: 1.844.493.8255; text the word “TALK” to 38255
Trained counselors are available to help with relationship problems, depression, bullying, stress, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, family crisis and more.
Denver Health STEP Program
The Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention Program was established specifically to help teens and young adults from 11 to 24 years of age. It offers a 12-week outpatient program on the campus of Denver Health and in several Denver Public Schools.
Heartland Mental Health
For over 30 years, Heartland Mental Health has supported and empowered individuals managing their mental health. The Heartland Clinic provides outpatient mental health services including counseling and medication management. They also provide skills training and an employment program for peer members.
Northpoint has an addiction inpatient treatment program for co-occurring mental health disorders plus continuing care outpatient programs after patients finish the 28-day residential program to help them continue to learn tools to stay in sobriety.
Denver Women’s Recovery
Denver Women’s Recovery helps women overcome addiction and find healing for mental health issues with outpatient treatment that combines trauma-informed care with clinical treatment.
A digital tool created in Colorado helps match you with a therapist. Simply fill out a questionnaire that details your needs, and the service matches you with a mental health provider near you who is best suited to help.
An expanded list of resources for those experiencing domestic and sexual violence can be found here. An expanded list of resources for the LGBTQIA+ community and mental health support can be found here.