We are privileged to share blog postings from our Ambassador Jessie Close, Adrienne Gurman, Henry Boy Jenkins, and other guest bloggers.  Please visit regularly as our content will be updated often.

Table For One

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My folded hands are pointing heavenward and my head is bowed in prayer. A scrumptious meal is spread out before me: cranberry sauce, a basket of rolls, a plateful of mashed potatoes and peas. In the center of the table is a golden, glazed turkey. I am five years old in this photograph. Everything about the dinner is fake. Everything but the prayer. I was praying for real food.

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Holding a Chair by Miriam Feldman

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I am in the community mental health center again. Waiting room. Nick is outside, smoking, I am holding a chair to make sure he isn’t overlooked. It’s the story of my life, these days. Across the room in a corner, a father and teenage girl huddle, speaking quietly to each other.

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Nurturing The Outside Mind

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The therapist is as important to the mind as the doctor is to the body. They both work with the patient to establish a baseline of good health, mental and physical, appropriate to the client’s individuality. The key is to take that first step in trusting your experienced caregiver. Sometimes that trust is hard won. Making the effort to contribute self-knowledge with as much clarity as possible to help your doctor or therapist get to know you better is paramount. Being open, honest, and willing can be keys to success.

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When There’s Stigma Among Friends

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The culture has made some progress in the understanding and acceptance of others, but in matters of mental illness it lags behind. There still aren’t enough beds, still isn’t enough training, affordable medication and therapy, to help the many schizophrenics lost to the streets and left to fend off the demons in their minds on their own. I know this firsthand, so I talk about it.

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A Place in our World by Miriam Feldman

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I spend a great deal of time reading and listening to other people’s stories about mental illness. I belong to several Facebook groups that support families of those with serious mental illness. Every single day I read tragic accountings of mental illness and families. One woman’s son set fire to…

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The Elephant In The Room

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If someone has a genuine interest in knowing what it’s like to live with schizophrenia, I feel obligated to share my personal experience. The truth might make them uncomfortable, but the conversation has to start somewhere. Change cannot happen if we live in a bubble.

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Missed the Last by Scott Seisler

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Besides grieving and experiencing the guilt, sadness and anger that accompanies when someone close to us dies by suicide, I was left with an empty space to fill.  I could have gone one of two ways.  I could have tried to fill that void with things that would only have masked the pain I was in and sunk into a deep depression, or I could fill that empty space with actions that made me feel whole again.  And this is how my journey brought me to music.

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True Colors

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I’d just yelled my life’s story to a panhandler as sincerely as I could. I wanted him to understand that I wasn’t his enemy, that I could be trapped in my own private hell. I breathed deeply once or twice to get some air back into my lungs.

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