Please join me this May in sharing your stories of The Real 5150 (#TheReal5150). This project’s goal is to highlight the real faces and voices of humans who experience a brain disorder, also known as mental illness, and have had to rely on answering questions from police officers as the first-line of help, or worse, were too deep in crisis and needed to be restrained, secured and transported to the hospital or jail.
Who is this campaign for?
- This is for the human who’s been labeled a 5150, officially or in slang, and must experience the stigma while they battle a life-threatening physical brain disorder commonly known as mental illness.
- This is for the desperate parent of a child that has had a mental break and dialed the digits to report an emergency not knowing if their child will receive mental health help or handcuffs, but having to do something just the same.
- This is for the folks in uniform who arrive on the scene, and often without appropriate training or support, have to make the call if the person qualifies as a 5150.
- This is for the social workers, therapist, psychiatrists, EMTs, caregivers, loved ones and community members who can see the tragedy, but have to operate in the current system to provide help.
- This campaign is for the mother who had to place a restraining order on her son because even after the call was made, appropriate treatment and help were unavailable.
- This is for the judge who must decide whether or not to grant the request of a desperate heart.
- This is for all of those who went through this process like a revolving door, finding more confusion than help – or perhaps — were lucky and found treatment that changed their life.
- This is for advocate who wants to help break the stigma of mental illness, highlight the tragedy of our mental health care system, and humanize our plight.
- This is for you to participate in your community, be a part of the solution and create a better way.
Who can participate?
Human. Folks with a mental illness who have experienced first-hand the front-line of help is a badge and gun at the door loaded with standard-form questions. This is for the person that’s labeled as a 5150 by family, friends and those who would rather judge than understand the real and true battle of mental illness.
Loved One. Loved ones of a person with mental illness who have had to reach out for help, worried themselves sick on the best course of action and have been desperate to find appropriate treatment and help.
You. Be an advocate. Together we can make a difference. Together we can break the stigma of mental illness, highlight the tragedy of the mental health care system, and create a better way.
How can you help?
Use the hashtag: #TheReal5150
We are in this together. Together we can find a better way. First, let’s break the stigma and highlight what is means to be The Real 5150. Use the hashtag #TheReal5150 in your tweets, Facebook posts, news shares, blog tags, Tumblr posts and anywhere it will help make a positive difference.
Share your story: This is a social media grassroots effort that relies solely on the voice each individual joining the voices of other individuals. Right now you might feel alone. You are not. Let others know the same.
If you are able to take a visible stand against mental illness stigma, share your story with the hashtag, #TheReal5150. This could be on a blog, tweet, Facebook post, YouTube video or any other social media space.
Because the stigma of mental illness is real and can affect your daily life, your job, and harm your relationships, it’s OK to post anonymously. You are not less than for doing so. Be safe. It’s your story that needs to be heard to help generate the change. You can do that anonymously in an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spread the Word: See a photo, a story, a tweet, blog post or other type of link that supports the breaking the stigma of mental illness and humanizes the code 5150? Share it with the hashtag #TheReal5150.
Get creative: Stories are told in art form as well as word. If you have a photo, painting, drawing, poem, prose or any other creative outlet that helps break the stigma of mental illness, or highlights the plight, share it with the hashtag #TheReal5150 or tag TheReal5150.
Share what’s out there: Hashtag a video, news story, photo or anything that you think will help break the stigma and humanize what it means to have the label 5150.
#YouAreNotAlone #WeAreWorthy #TheReal5150
See you on May 1. Together we can break the stigma and help create a better way.