#TheReal5150: Change Starts With Demolishing Stigma

on JANUARY 22, 2016]

My stay in 2012 at Community Behavioral Health Center was not like the ones described here. Thankfully, I was able to be stabilized for suicide compulsion and got the Band Aid needed for that crisis.

Many of my peers have stories that aren’t so positive .(Note: this is a general statement not directed specifically to the hospital mentioned below, but can apply to anyHospital, USA.) This is not meant to discourage anyone from getting help — get help. Your life depends on it.

What we need to create a mental health care system. Peers and their loved ones deserve better. Every human deserves safe treatment in a time of crisis. It’s time to kill the stigma of mental illness so it stops killing us. What can you do to help? Right now — have an honest conversation about mental illness. Have it with anyone. Break the silence. That’s a start.

After that, perhaps try asking why. I don’t mean to ask someone why they have a mental illness. That makes about as much sense as asking someone why they have cancer. That’s a question for doctors and scientists.

Here’s the whys I’m talking about: Why is treatment so hard to find, receive and have covered by insurance? Why is it OK to send someone home from crisis treatment and have a gap of a month or more without doctor’s care — if available? Why do you feel the urge to tell someone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps or to snap out of it as a cure? These answers aren’t about judgement. Right now it’s difficult to know any of the answers because stigma holds the questions hostage. So talk.

Mental illness affects one in four. One in four. That’s not exactly Morrison’s 5-to-1, but it’s enough folks who can make noise and achieve positive change with their combined voices. We can at least get attention to the questions so the possibility of answers and community solutions can arise.

I don’t ever want to read stories like this, and never again. Reality is I will and so will you,. That’s not OK. It’s not OK. It won’t ever be OK. This crisis is bigger than one nurse, ten doctors or a hundred psychiatric wards.This is a world crisis. A national disaster. A community tragedy. A family’s loved one.

So much love to all the family, friends and loved ones involved. I’m so sorry this happened. So incredibly sorry. May you have support and love during this time.

For the record: It’s OK to be mentally disabled.


‪#‎51fifty‬51 Fifty Energy Drink – You are not #TheReal5150. You’re stigma in a can. ‪#‎middlefinger2stigma‬


(Originally posted on Facebook: January 20 at 4:49pm)


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