Melissa Bernstein, Survivor of Existential Depression, to Share Path “From Profound Darkness to Radiant Light,” April 26

Melissa Bernstein, Survivor of Existential Depression, to Share Path “From Profound Darkness to Radiant Light,” April 26

Melissa Bernstein, Author and Toy Company Co-Founder

Melissa Bernstein, Author and Co-Founder of Melissa & Doug Toy Company

Presented in affiliation with the Women’s Leadership Council, the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts will host Melissa & Doug toy company co-founder Melissa Bernstein for an Open VISIONS Forum livestream conversation centered around the inspiration for her new book, LifeLines.

Raised by educators, Melissa Bernstein and her husband Doug co-founded a toy-making business from their garage in 1988. More than three decades later, Melissa & Doug, the wildly successful Wilton, Connecticut-based toy company, has had upwards of a billion dollars in sales. Melissa is the creative force behind more than 5,000 children’s toys made mostly of wood or fabric — each one decidedly “no-tech” and designed to inspire imaginative, open-ended play. Who would ever guess that this successful businesswoman — and happily married mother of six — begins many days the same way far too many others do: wondering if she’ll make it to tomorrow?

Throughout Melissa’s remarkable career, she kept secret her lifelong battle with depression and despair. On Monday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m., the Quick Center for the Arts’ Open VISIONS Forum (OVF) will invite Melissa to present a free virtual lecture, “LifeLines,” about her triumph over existential depression and anxiety — a story she hopes will help others find their path to meaning and inner peace. At a time when it seems to be needed more than ever, Melissa’s message for all who journey a similar path is, “You are not alone.”

In her newly self-published book, LifeLines: An Inspirational Journey From Profound Darkness to Radiant Light, Melissa takes readers down the rabbit hole of depression, and reveals how her own “lifelines” transformed her despair into beacons of hope. Filled with prose, gorgeous photography, and many of Melissa’s verses that express her mental health struggles and breakthroughs, she provides a framework for people seeking to understand their emotional lives and to develop their own path to self-discovery and inner transformation.

This debut book heralds the launch of, an online ecosystem the Bernsteins are underwriting to assist those seeking support, guidance, and community on their mental health journeys. Melissa lives in Westport, Connecticut with Doug and their six children. 

The Downtown Fairfield University Bookstore will host an in-person outdoor book-signing event with Melissa Bernstein on the Town of Fairfield’s Sherman Green on Saturday, April 24, from noon to 1:30 p.m. (rain date: Sunday 4/25, noon–1:30 p.m.). All are welcome.

Presented in affiliation with Fairfield University’s Women’s Leadership Council, Melissa Bernstein’s OVF virtual lecture, “LifeLines,” at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 26 is free and open to the public. For more information and to register to attend, please visit

OVF Virtual Lecture With Melissa Bernstein: "LifeLines"

Date: Monday, April 26, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Additional Details:

This is virtual event is free and open to the public. Register to attend at

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