“Essential for overcoming stigma is the ability to be open—and to get support.”
—Stephen Hinshaw, UC Berkeley Psychology Chair
We believe that sharing personal stories is the best way to create acceptance and foster understanding about mental illness.
The time is now to rise up and make our mental illness known. We have lived in the shadows of shame and guilt for too long. Sharing our experiences—and, counterintuitively, not education*—has been shown to be most effective in reducing stigma surrounding mental illness. It is unacceptable that half of all individuals with severe psychiatric disorders are not receiving treatment at any given time (NIMH).
We cannot be idle while we do not have parity for mental health treatment compared to physical health treatment. It is our duty to make sure that every single individual receives adequate care, and it is our duty to stand up and help those around us who suffer from mental illness today.
*Hinshaw SP1, Cicchetti D. “Stigma and mental disorder: conceptions of illness, public attitudes, personal disclosure, and social policy.” Dev Psychopathol. 2000 Autumn;12(4):555-98.