Keep Talking by Pamela Harrington, Executive Director, BC2M

By May 25, 2015Blog

Dear Friend,

There is one week left of Mental Health Awareness Month, and we want to keep up the conversation about fighting stigma and discrimination!

We have been so inspired by the response to our #ITalk campaign, and cannot thank you enough for taking part in it. We want to continue this dialogue so please post or send your photo with 5 to 7 words about why you talk about mental health. And, check out our social media sites regularly as we will be featuring some of your entries on those pages.

We are keeping the conversation going with mybody Advanced Probiotic Skincare, who are dedicated to donating 1% of your purchases year-round, and 20% for their top sellers below during the month of May, to Bring Change 2 Mind. Please consider gifting yourself, family, and friends with products. Shop it forward for change!

This week, we are partnering with Discovery Life Channel on their programming event, PSYCH WEEK. Twin Peaks Actress and BC2M Advocate Mädchen Amick will serve as this year’s PSYCH WEEK Honorary Spokesperson. In addition to a series of mental health profiles, our latest PSA and videos will be featured throughout the week so please be sure to check your local listings and tune in.

The most recent #StrongerThanStigma report shows more than 1.2 Billion media impressions! We’re excited that so many people are seeing the PSA – it’s even lighting up Times Square! If you’ve seen the PSA, please let us know by taking a photo and sending it to us.

Additionally, we partnered on two amazing events in San Francisco this month.  Sidewalk Talk was created by two local therapists, Traci Ruble and Lily Sloane, who recruited almost 30 volunteers to set up chairs across the city on May 7th and invite people to talk as a way to remove the stigma around therapy and to promote listening. In response to their success, Sidewalk Talk LA has been scheduled for listening at locations around Los Angeles on May 26th.

On May 16th, Project Awareness SF organized volunteers to distribute single stem flowers and postcards containing information on local resources and mental health facts to people across the city. Each event was met with great success, and encouraged people to talk about mental health. These are just two examples of events that you could organize in your community to raise awareness and instill compassion.

Thank you for supporting us, lending your voice to the conversation, and bringing change!

Sincerely,
Pamela Harrington

15 Comments

  • john says:

    thank you. stigma is a sore point. an issue of great loss and isolation that han’t been addressed well prior to your efforts. today, it makes me heartsick and unable to reach for new friendships.

  • Marguerite says:

    thank you and please continue with your very valuable endeavor. Judgement is not the right path when dealing with mental health issues. Kindness, openness, and support of not only the affected individual, but, rather, ALL who care about that person.

  • Tillie says:

    I recognize mental illness month all year around by talking openly about my own mental illness. Bringing it into the light!

  • Glenn S says:

    Spiritualilly, emotionally, we all need each other. No one should ever be alone.

  • Joanie says:

    I’m just grateful when I get out of bed, I’m even more grateful when I can make it to work.
    But if I talked about why, I would surely loose my job.
    I’m still getting a paycheck, barely, and that’s the most I can do right now.

  • Babe C says:

    My son whom I love so much was born a gifted baby. He excelled in academics and sports as well. He had the opportunity to attend the best private schools on academic and sport scholarships. He was very smart. Did well in school had many friends and was a happy child. He was very well liked and had great personality. Always wanted to help his friends that were less fortunate than he was. Very caring and humble growing up. From a very young age he had a goal for the best college he could get accepted. His world as he knew it collapsed when he was a freshman in college. He came home that summer a totally different person. I was shocked to utter disbelief. He had been acting out his senior year of high school but I being a single parent for many years, thought he was just being cocky and arrogant with hormones raging. I have wished so many times I had knowledge of what was happening to him. He was diagnosed with schizo affective disorder when he was nineteen. His life changed before my very eyes. We have battled this terrible mental illness since 2003. The biggest hurdle we have is to keep him on his meds. He has been to the best Doctors, hospitals and all mental help I can find and still to this day he still forgets to take his medicine or thinks he did but didn’t or looses it or forgets to go to pharmacy. He has been in group homes, half-way houses, rehab many times and he has to have a caretaker everyday to make sure he takes his meds. I cannot watch Beautiful Minds without crying my heart out for him. I have read everything I can about his mental illness and NAMI has helped me many times just reading your info.I am so encouraged that people are finally speaking out about Mental Illness. Glenn Close has helped tremendously. I will be going to get my son again to come live with me so I can help him and be his caregiver. We have done this so many times and then when he gets better he wants to be on his own again.Constant cycle. But I have to keep trying to help him. I love him and he cannot help what or why he got sick with this most horrible illness that takes your life away. His father abandoned him and has never tried to help him. That alone has been a huge negative factor with his recovery. Rejection is very difficult for the healthiest person and especially a person who needs acceptance that has a mental illness. This has always been from day to day for steps of recovery. It us very hard for him and myself. His only sister won’t have anything to do with him either.She says it is his fault. She cannot accept his illness.

    • Scott M says:

      Hello Babe C, a few weeks ago I was made aware of bring change 2 mind and provided my email as my family has recently been affected this illness. When I read your post it gave me chills. Your post described my son almost to a T. He is 19,attended private school, honor student, played football, lacrosse and had many friends and was a healthy,happy, caring young man. After Graduating High School last year, he went away to College and when he came home for winter break, he was not the same young man that left. Events occurred that caused him to be hospitalized where he was diagnosed with psychosis ( very general diagnosis). He has since been prescribed medication which has helped (still not the same as when he left) and is staying home. We are scared of what the future may hold for him and are not sure and don’t know what to do. As you have been dealing with this illness for over 10 years, I was hoping you could give some guidance or advice as we are both scared and confused, and don’t know how to best help our son. Any advice would be welcomed.

  • Diane Marie says:

    I didn’t realize this was going on!! How wonderful! I facilitate a CHADD support group in Sonoma County for adults, partners & Parents of folks dealing with ADD, ADHD, Autism or other challenges. This is sooo important!! At the International CHADD conference I went to 2 years ago in San Francisco one of the conversations was how so many people were dealing with mental challenges and not much has changed in 200 years about how they are not spoken about!!!!
    Thanks for all this important work!!!

  • susie r says:

    I try to bring up being supportive …that it is important to someone with a mental illness. My sister’s are not as supportive as I always felt they could have been for many years…in a way maybe even ashamed of me and so to other family’s ..please help and to what you can or at at least help them get an advocate who can if you do not or can’t help.

  • susie r says:

    It is important to have the right help ,care and love.

  • Kim M says:

    Thank God for Bring Change 2 Mind, it is such a helpful site and if my brother would have had more help than he was receiving from his Doctors, he would be still be here!!

  • BRYAN J says:

    THANKS FOR ALL THE GOOD WORK IN MAY. TALKING HELPS US ALL GET HELP WHEN WE NEED IT.

  • kathy s says:

    So happy that notables are taking this issue to the masses.. its been closeted for too long. I suffer from the ups and downs of bi-polar AND i’m a natural blonde! Not much in my favor, there. My faith, my own research, quotes, and stubborn fortitude has kept me in the game, albeit not without plenty of inner struggles.
    I’m pretty sure that ignorance will always be with us, but i’m hoping that our cause will become the latest “trend” and draw in those fringe folks that are drawn in by trends intrinsically. Thanks so much!!! -kathy simpson

  • Susie M says:

    How wonderful to know that there’s people talking more about mental illness. My son was a very happy and healthy child growing up with a family that loves him . Then one day when he turned 18 he changed . After 2 years of confusion and frustration trying to find out why he was seeing, hearing and becoming more and more delusional we finally got his diagnosis of schizophrenia. He’s been in and out of jail, hospitals, care homes and homeless. The stigma that we’ve in countered has made us feel very alone. Thank god people are finally talking about it.

  • Cubsmom says:

    Dear Babe C and Scott,

    I was equally filled with tears when I read about your son. My son who is now 28, meets the same profile as yours and he too got his first diagnosis when he completed his first year of college at a prestige institution in Northern California. I was also divorced from his father who I shared frequent and continuing contact until he became ill. His father has also abandoned our son and I too believe this has been a huge devastation for my son’s recovery. Although I have to say, that he is learning how to cope despite unanswered phone calls from his father. Moreover, my son is doing remarkably well right now thank goodness to his compliance with meds, therapy and monthly visits with his phychiatrist. He volunteers at a local shelter feeding the homeless and this has helped rebuild his confidence as we are again, enjoying family outings and dinners and most importantly LAUGHING more often than not.

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