Comedian and author Sara Benincasa will headline Mental Health Expo at ISU Sept. 19

AMES, Iowa -- Comedian, mental health advocate and author Sara Benincasa will share her experience with mental illness, panic attacks and college life during a talk at Iowa State University.

Benincasa will present "Help! You Need Somebody!" at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, in the Memorial Union Sun Room. Her talk is free and open to the public. It is part of the Mental Health Expo, a resource fair with local mental health and substance abuse professionals that will be held in the adjoining South Ballroom beginning at 6 p.m.

Benincasa is the author of "Agorafabulous! Dispatches from My Bedroom," which she adapted into a pilot for TV with Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody. Her most recent book is "Real Artists Have Day Jobs (And Other Awesome Things They Don't Teach You in School)." Another of her books, "D.C. Trip," is being adapted as a film.

Benincasa's eclectic background includes work experience as an AmeriCorps teacher, custodian, legal assistant, talk show host, sports blogger and citizen journalist for MTV News. She describes herself as a recovering stand-up comedian, and has appeared on "The Jim Gaffigan Show" and the critically acclaimed short film "The Focus Group," which she also wrote.

Benincasa's presentation is co-sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs, National Alliance on Mental Illness On Campus, Story County Mental Health Expo, Suicide Awareness Organization, Student Counseling Service and the Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.

More information on ISU lectures is available online, or by calling 515-294-9935.