The stigma surrounding mental illness in this country is tragic, unfortunate and sometimes even fatal. The sad fact of the matter is that people don't talk about mental illness. Often it is a glaring, debilitating elephant in the room. Mental illness is often dismissed, ridiculed or swept away from polite company. There is an enormous amount of shame that comes with being mentall ill. This shame prevents people from seeking relief through therapy or lifesaving medicine or both. Sometimes it even takes a life.
Perhaps you have heard this phrase before, "There is no more shame in having a broken mind than in having a broken leg." This is truth, yet due to the secrecy surrounding mental illness, millions of people suffer needlessly and all alone.
Which is why it is a delight to see this crucial Time to Change campaign being waged through social media outlets. The basic but important premise is simply to get people talking about mental illness:
It's time we were all able to talk openly about mental health. Whether you have a mental health problem or know someone who does, being able to talk about it is important - a Facebook message, phone call or chat can make a big difference.
And that is what people are doing. Thousands of people are opening up about their own mental illness or that of a spouse, parent or child. Regular, every day people with dogs and jobs and amazing talents are speaking out to say, "Hey, me too. I suffer from depression." Or OCD or anxiety or any other number of disorders that are invisible except in how they manifest themselves.
It's a profound movement that is powerful and compelling to watch. And since at Modest Needs we often receive help for financial assistance from individuals who are battling mental illness who have no where to turn (often as a direct result of the terrible stigma), this campaign really hits home for us.
So, today we recognize the good work going on in the Time to Change campaign and encourage you to start your own conversation about mental illness today. Stop the stigma. Stamp out the shame. It's time to #beFrank about mental illness.