Racist photos in Northram’s yearbook shines a spotlight on prejudice

I’m not going to debate the picture in Virginia Governor Ralph Northram’s yearbook. But it got me to thinking about prejudice in general which goes way beyond race.

It’s prejudice I’ve been fighting for the last nine years for the topics of both substance use disorder and mental illness.

Every time we say “commit suicide” we are making a prejudiced remark that those who die by suicide are criminals. Here in Virginia, we’ve been unsuccessful in eradicating the ancient 1600s law that suicide is a crime despite that  government agencies and scientific studies having declared it a public health issue.… Read more...

Teens wiping out mental health stigma

See the video on Channel 8

Like me, they’ve had enough.

They see no logic in the tradition of mental health stigma. Such a lousy, pointless tradition.

They are tired of classmates suffering. They are tired of being silent.

Now that the wave has started, I predict that we’ll have a whole new attitude toward stigma by next year this time.

Thanks to Alex Chaffee and other teens I will be highlighting here on this blog. And there are a lot more in this area speaking up and not tolerating this nonsense. So stay tuned.

Area organizations like Beacon Tree … Read more...

Stigma writes me a letter

Hi Anne Moss,

I hear you are fighting me. So how’s that going? Sort of like taking salt out of the ocean by the teaspoon, isn’t it?

I admire that you have the audacity to take me on. People are so set in their ways, so invested in their fundamental black and white belief system, I won’t fall easily.

Denial is part of my charm, judgment so crucial to my success and shame is where I thrive. I flourish in an environment where people react only to the latest crisis and then forget it two weeks later. This culture is … Read more...

I know what will wipe out mental health stigma

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 … Read more...

Young people, you are not alone. Here’s what you have been sending me

feedbackHere is what I am hearing from young people 17-25 about what I am writing and you are sharing from Emotionally Naked.

The fact is these young people have suffered through a system so broken and in a society so unaccepting of their struggles, is heartbreaking. And reading these brings tears to my eyes.

It’s utterly amazing they have done as well as they have. So proud of all of you. One day you will get support and acceptance. Help me work on that by sharing these posts.

I am honored you wrote me and I thought you’d be … Read more...