Changing the ‘stigma’ starts with me

Personal computer on the table in office

This month, I announced my plan to proactively address the stigmas surrounding mental illness. It’s a difficult discussion to have — especially because several people (namely policy makers and the news media) openly share their perspective without having a solid understanding of the complexities.

  • They’ve never struggled with the demoralization associated with claiming a mental illness diagnosis;
  • They haven’t taken medication regularly;
  • They don’t have a clue what it’s like to be hospitalized;
  • They’ve never felt the shame associated with seeking long-term treatment.

The topic of mental illness is universal, YET when we evaluate the landscape of “spokespeople” addressing the issues, many (especially policy makers) know NOTHING about what it feels like to “battle” a chronic illness — day in, day out.

It’s my hope that my upcoming SXSW Interactive presentation will fire up attendees, and we’ll start to address these issues more progressively and productively.

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