I know what will wipe out mental health stigma

In 2 years, stigma for mental health and addiction will be a thing of the past
In two years, stigma for mental health and addiction will be a thing of the past

More people are speaking out–Suicide survivors, suicide loss survivors, overdose survivors, those who suffer with mental illness.

Parents are motivated to seek help and are risking the fallout of reaching out because the risk of losing their child outweighs their fear of living with shame.

Then there is the awareness, rising suicide rates, media coverage and the opiate epidemic which has cut across all racial and socioeconomic groups including politicians.

All of this works in tandem together to raise awareness and educate millions.

But that’s just part of it. It’s not the secret sauce

The one thing that has been the most influential is you. Yes, you are the secret sauce.

You will be the ones wiping out stigma. How?

I can sit here and write all day but I’m a minority in this game. With no audience, no one to help me carry the message, it would die right here collecting server dust.

Those of us who have lost a loved one or are currently struggling with mental illness can’t do it alone.

It’s our friends who run along beside us, holding us up and encouraging us in our darkest hour that are making a difference. It’s a group effort and you are our cheerleaders–the catalyst that is sparking change.

It’s an effort of love and compassion which restores my faith in humanity

You have decided to stand up for something. You’ve decided that you are not ashamed to post any of this on your social media profiles. You have guts.

For that I am grateful. Because we are starting to see real conversation and real change.  People everywhere are speaking out and you are amplifying that message and emphasizing the importance of family because you’ve seen the results of doing nothing and staying silent.

People not supporting depression or addiction as an illness have already started to look old, stodgy, uninformed and close minded. I believe in less than two years, it will be ‘uncool’ to talk about mental illness or addiction as moral failings.

If there is one thing people don’t like, they don’t like to look bad. Or stupid. That alone will incentivize people to change their minds.

Now you have the secret. It’s you, the carriers of these messages.

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Author: Anne Moss Rogers

I am the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am President of Beacon Tree Foundation, advocates for youth mental health as well as a writer and public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. I was a marketing professional for years prior to losing my son and co-owned a digital marketing firm.

2 thoughts on “I know what will wipe out mental health stigma”

  1. Like your message but…yea..I have a but. I feel it’s (uncool) at the moment to speak about these things.
    Your continued work, writing and sharing are helping others wether you KNOW about it or not.
    Everyone is different. If they have experienced any of these issues they understand at least somewhat what this means. That this is a disease. Education and awareness is key for Everyone, not just those who have felt the pain.
    Then you have the people who have not been touched by any of this. A lot of articles and news about horrible stories have come out just recently. My son died Jan 30 2016. An article was headline news the very next day and they keep coming.
    If I had not experienced what I and my family had/have and are going through I wouldn’t (Get It) or maybe wouldn’t have the desire to delve deeper into these articles. I’d think….”so sad” and maybe keep a little eye out on my children in a different way then I had before.
    BUT…that’s the seed planted. The little opening of awareness.
    “Oh…did you see that article?” “I Knew that child how horrible….never heard about this..is it really that bad?” And/Or “why couldn’t they have done something?”
    I’ve heard all of this and I am OK with it. I didn’t KNOW the WHY’s until I researched and asked questions. This is so very Big to wrap your brain around.
    This is also scary for those who are in the closet. They could loose jobs, families, get into trouble with the law.
    That is why I feel what You are doing is Great! The word IS getting out.
    Some of what you post may be too hard for someone to deal with and that’s OK. Your speaking out and using the tools you have and that’s needed. I can feel your compassion and energy in what you do.
    Some may need a more gentle hand in understanding what they know nothing about.
    I feel it’s like treatment. Not one kind of treatment may be the answer for everyone. We need all kinds and knowledge out there about them so these people who are ready can get help.
    Those people who have children that are Not ready don’t really have an outlet. They can go to group sessions and learn about what this is so they handle the loved ones in a better way and help themselves understand the Why…….But…yea the But again. There is no answer for the child or person who doesn’t feel they need help or understands they even have a problem and THAT is very hard. What do you do for them?
    So back to….education, awareness and understanding are key in my opinion.
    The LAWS are another whole BIG issue.
    Thank you Ann for what you do 🙂

    1. And thank you Reid. It is still so raw for you. But you are quite eloquent. I’ve been at this 6 years now and I have seen change. It has been sloooooooow. Hopefully some laws will catch up soon. The politicians are hearing. And their kids are effected. I still see a lot of ignorance. But less than I used to if that’s any measure.

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