Why Becomes What

We know that the number of mental health problems in children and adolescents has increased immensely over the last ten – fifteen years, and this increase has led to a mental health crisis in this age group.  We know that pediatricians are the “first line of defense” when it comes to all things physical with our children.  Pediatricians have been trained to treat our children’s colds, flu symptoms, ear infections, and bumps and scrapes, but they have not been well-trained to care for their mental health in a meaningful way. We know there are not enough pediatric therapists and psychiatrists to treat the number of children and adolescents who are among the increased number of pediatric patients suffering with mental health problems.  We also know that up until recent years, mental health was not a subject easily discussed, and so the topic was usually avoided.  Gradually, the conversation surrounding mental health has increased.  The last year in particular has shown a marked increase in the proliferation of articles and conversations about the importance of dealing with mental health.  It is finally being discussed, but people think that this mental health crisis has popped out of nowhere.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has stated, “Mental health disorders have surpassed physical conditions as the main source of impairments and limitations.  Pediatricians need to take on a larger role in addressing the mental health crisis. Yet a majority of pediatricians do not feel prepared to do so.” 

We could blame this crisis on the pediatricians, but mental health treatment was a very small part of their training.  We could blame it all on the pandemic, but we know the pandemic only accelerated the trajectory of the already existing mental health problem.  We could blame it on the chaotic world around us in which the actions of people and countries has caused anxiety in the calmest of adults.   But none of these reasons alone, nor all three together, fully answer the question of “Why?”.

Why has there been such an increase in mental health illness in children and teens?   

From time to time, I have listened to The Dailya podcast supported by The New York Times and hosted by Michael Barbaro.  Recently I heard a podcast, posted on August 30 of this year, entitled “Inside the Adolescent Mental Health Crisis.”  Michael Barbaro was interviewing a colleague, Matt Richtel, who has spent the last few years doing research (with full support from The New York Times) into the mental health crisis among adolescents.  One of the major issues he discussed is how puberty has affected the onset of mental health illness.

Richtel points out that around 1900, puberty arrived on average when a girl was 14 years of age and starting menstruation.  In today’s world, that girl is starting puberty and menstruation around age 12, or even earlier in some cases.  Boys are also going through a similar challenge at an earlier age than was previously the case.  We think of puberty as the beginning of sexual awakening, but it is much more than that.  The awakening is not only in our bodies, but also in our brains.  According to Richtel, it is our brains that have not developed fast enough to keep in lockstep with our bodies.  The brain cannot process, nor make sense of, all this new stimulation from the world around us. Sex and all things sexual are only part of the story. The world with its nuances and issues is a bigger part of the puberty experience. Richtel says that the brain of a 12year old is simply not developed enough to be able to process the quantity of new information being forced on it.  The brain of a 12year old has not caught up to the more quickly developing body, and the brain is not ready to cope with all this new available information .  The 12year old is able to access quickly, and without filters, so much information in our technologically driven world that the brain of this child can go into overload.  With this overload comes internal confusion, rumination, obsessive thinking, anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicidal ideation, aggression, and the list could continue.  So, our “Why?” now becomes “What?”.  What can we do to effectively confront this crisis?

Most logically, as a child’s or adolescent’s first-line-of-defense, pediatricians should get the extra training that is needed for them to feel more competent and comfortable treating the internal cuts and scrapes of mental health bruising.  Then we need more well-trained and qualified pediatric therapists and psychiatrists to pick up the baton and help the child to continue the healing process.  Although medications may play a part in the healing process as well, I do not believe that it is a total fix and certainly needs to be accompanied by a conversation with a doctor.  These experts in the field of mental health can do something that the medicines cannot do, and that is to acknowledge and validate the turmoil of emotions living inside these kids, and teach the young patient good coping skills that will be part of the child’s tool kit going forward.  


National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute on Mental Health

Heads Together Mental Health

The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology’s Effective Child Therapy website can help parents discern what mental health treatments have robust data behind them, and which are most strongly recommended for specific disorders. 

The American Psychological Association allows you to search by Zip code, patient age group, doctor or therapist specialty, type of therapy provided, insurance and telehealth participation, and whether there are openings for new patients. 

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies’ search tool specifically helps locate psychologists, psychiatrists and clinical social workers who are trained (and ABCT-licensed) in the evidence-based cognitive and behavioral techniques most frequently cited by experts as beneficial for children. 


Off to College

It is very important to me that adults better understand how important it is to pay attention to their children’s journey into adulthood.  It is a long journey with many different stages and many different challenges along the way. 

September is a good time to remember the part of the journey that can be one of the most challenging stages of the process, namely leaving home and starting college.  For many, it is the first time a child will have spent any significant time away from home. Independent from parents.  Independent from rules.  Thrown into a huge bucket of peer pressure.  It is a time fraught with new challenges, adventures, transitions, ideas, and influences.  Many students do fine, but a significant number of students struggle with all this new stimulation coming at one time.  They are presented with a “perfect storm” of challenges and the new experience of independent decision-making.  It is not unusual that by November the number of new challenges and a student’s inability to balance these challenges can be overwhelming to a college freshman (as well as upper-class students as well), who then begin to fall apart and need help coping with depression and anxiety.  

From a distance (remember that most of these kids are away at college), we, the adults in their lives, need to be vigilant and listen to the tone of our children’s voices and words that they use. If we hear anything that causes concern, we need to encourage our kids to seek help.  If there is the slightest concern about their mental health., we need to encourage our kids to seek help.  

If, after listening to and having conversations one-on-one with your child, you are still concerned about his/her/their well-being, then you need to take a next step. For me that would be to find out more about the school’s mental health resources, and reach out to the people connected to those resources for guidance.  For many students, as with the population in general, the stigma of seeking mental health treatment from a counseling center is intimidating. It is important to emphasize that seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

However, if going to the college mental health center is uncomfortable for your child, there are other resources that are available today outside of that brick-and-mortar health center.  One that is gaining momentum is telemedicine (you can simply google online mental health resources and you will find a whole list of resources).  Or you can connect with a therapist who you may know or has been recommended to you and see if that therapist will meet with your child by Zoom or FaceTime.

We want our kids to be happy, and reaching that goal is not often easy.  We need to use all available resources in order to help our kids during the times that are so difficult. 

 Below is a list that I found on a website called “timely MD.“   I would like to share it with you, and perhaps you can share it with your child  before he/she/they leaves for school.  Hand it to them, slip it into their suitcase, sit down and discuss it.  Whatever works.

Ways that college students can manage mental health

  1. Take care of health and well-being. … 
  2. Time management. … 
  3. Keep track of mental health concerns. … 
  4. Surround yourself with good people (even if it’s virtually) … 
  5. Practice mindfulness. … 
  6. Avoid drug and alcohol use. … 
  7. Find ways to get involved. … 
  8. Utilize mental health services.

(If you go to the website, each of these points is discussed further.)


These are a few resources that are in United States and Britain. There are resources around the world

National Alliance of Mental Illness

National Institute of Mental Health

Heads Together

Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide

Pay Attention to the Warning Signs

In my last blog post, I talked about the increasing suicide rate among children and adolescents.  It is not a cheerful subject, but a subject we need to address head on because the numbers of suicides can be reduced if we pay more attention to the warning signs, and then, of course, get our children the help they need.   

According to the website of The American Psychological Association, there is an important list of warning signs we should all learn: 

  1. Physical changes in appearance or hygiene
  2. Increase in alcohol or drug use
  3. Sudden drop in grades
  4. Talking about suicide or preoccupation with death
  5. Risky or reckless behavior
  6. Self-harm such as cutting
  7. Talking about feeling hopeless or having nothing to live for
  8. Researching suicide methods and/or acquiring weapons

As parents, teachers, friends, and relatives of young people, let’s listen to their thoughts and validate their concerns.   Let us make sure the children know we care about their problems.  Let us spend significant amounts of quality time with our children, and encourage them to spend time with their friends.  Encourage conversation (not always the easiest thing to do with kids), and be compassionate about the problems or challenges a child may verbalize.  If you have any concerns at all that there is a problem with your child/student/friend, trust your own judgement.  If you suspect a problem, it is much better to overreact than not to react at all.  And if you suspect even the slightest possibility of suicidal ideation, remove all weapons from the home, and do not leave the child alone.  Immediately consult a mental health professional.

It is just heartbreaking to think that a young, beautiful human being, who should have so much hope for the future, could be so sad, so depressed, or so uncomfortable with their experience with life that this child would feel that death is better than all the possibilities that life has to offer.  Children need to know that their problems are solvable. There is hope for a better future, and you, the adult,  must hear their voices and support their road forward.


Healthy Children

Society for the Prevention of Suicide

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute on Mental Health

Mental Health Crisis for Children and Adolescents

Child and adolescent mental health concerns are at a crisis level. According to the World Health Organization, the number of children and adolescents who suffer from a treatable mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety, or attention deficit/hyper activity disorder (ADHD) is 1 in 6, and the number is definitely on the rise. This mental health situation is not confined to any geographic area or social status, although children from poorer families seem to be at greater risk, with hospital after hospital reporting they are experiencing huge increases in the number of children and adolescents seeking treatment for mental health disorders.

Many journalists and health organizations are writing about the pandemic and how that has impacted kids. The pandemic alone would have presented serious challenges for any human being, but it has taken a particularly large toll on the development of our children. To go a step further, add in the myriad of events taking place around the world, and we find a Tsunami of challenges tugging at everyone’s mental health. However, I find a silver lining in this awful consequence, because I believe that it has pushed the conversation about mental health issues right through the roof. There are so many individuals being affected by mental health challenges that society can no longer ignore the importance of mental health. Today’s world is simply fraught with events that are difficult to intellectually and emotionally process.

Having to quarantine, wear a mask, knowing that large numbers of people are getting very sick from Covid-19, and that huge numbers of people are dying from Covid-19 are all reasons for precipitating anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. But at the same time our world has been overwhelmed by so many more events happening all around us. Hateful speech, racism, mean-spirited politics, and wars surround us, including our children, every day. We, as adults, can barely protect ourselves from the mental traumas we see and hear, which makes it even harder to protect our children from all the negative events. It is simply not possible to put a bubble around our kids to make sure they never hear a troubling conversation or comment, or a news report on television, or a radio broadcast, or read a newspaper article, or see the horrible pictures of a war scene. And all these words and pictures take away from the safety that should be childhood.

So, more children and adolescents are in the throes of a different kind of pandemic, a mental health pandemic. The need for help is rising, and there are simply not enough pediatric psychologists available for the number of children and adolescents who need them. Although the number of children and adolescents who have needed health care has been rising for some time, the pandemic threw the whole balance of need versus supply of pediatric therapists out of kilter. The American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital Association, and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry have together declared an emergency in child and adolescent mental health.

Many children who have been forced to quarantine at home for long periods of time were exposed to excessive quarreling, abuse, and violence, and witnessed more substance misuse by adults. They were prevented from interaction with their peers, which caused many children and adolescents to forget how to interact with their peers and also prevented them from having a needed social setting in which to grow their social skills. Now that children are returning to in-person school settings, there is more than the usual “acting out” in class, and teachers, acting as ‘first responders,” are asking for and receiving more guidance from outside professionals regarding how to recognize signs of trauma and other negative psychological behavior in children and adolescents. Hopefully, with this guidance, the educational staff will be able to help their students find help for emotional or mental health problems. We are also seeing greater government funding that enables our schools to hire temporary health professionals, including mental health professionals. But we need these health care professionals to be permanent additions to the staff caring for our children. Healthy children make healthy adults, which makes for a healthier society. To that end, the United States Congress is working on passing new funding legislation that would make those temporary positions in our health care system permanent, as well as continuing to fund the Student Mental Health Helpline Act. That Act, first introduced in September 2021, needs to be renewed. When that hopefully occurs, the law will authorize grants to agencies that are primarily responsible for public health or education to develop and maintain student mental health and safety helplines for children who are facing challenges with abuse, bullying, depression, anxiety, self-harm, and related issues.
The federal government is addressing the mental health crisis, but it needs to move faster in getting the allocated money out to the people who will use it to make a difference in the mental health of our children and teens.


National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute of Mental Health

Heads Together

Simone Biles

I have previously blogged about my belief that when famous people talk about mental health issues, the world listens.  After reading the article about Simone Biles that appeared in Time Magazine (December 27, 2021/January 3, 2022), my belief has been reinforced.  

Simone Biles is a world class athlete, the best of the best.  Having been trained to be in control at all times and to stay focused on the “win,” Biles found herself having mental issues as she performed in Tokyo, Japan this 2021 Olympic season.  Given the pressures that are put on athletes to perform, one could reasonably have assumed that Biles would have just pushed forward, not willing to “quit’ in front of the watching world.  Instead, she paid attention to what her mind and body were telling her, and then she told her teammates that her mind and her body were not in sync and she would not be able to continue to compete with the team.  Continuing to try to perform would have put Biles’ safety at serious risk.  In front of the entire world, and knowing she would be judged for her decision, she stood strong, chose to consider her own well-being first and removed herself from the competition. Imagine the pressure. Some people, unable to understand the importance of mind/body synchronization when performing, immediately saw this as quitting.  However, this decision had the same merit as a decision to withdraw because of a broken bone.  This action was not quitting!  This was a decision made to protect herself. 

Imagine how hard a decision that was for Simone Biles, who had practiced her whole life for the Olympics, who had become a world champion, who was expected to win 5 medals at the Olympics, and then having to decide to withdraw for her own safety, health, and well-being.  What would her teammates think? What would her coach think? What would her parents think? What would the world think?  What would all those little girls think of their hero and role model?  But instead of dwelling on those “what woulds,” Biles made a decision that was right for her and with which she was comfortable, and because of that decision, I think that Simone Biles provided a more meaningful role model for her teammates, the world, and all those little girls when she decided to take care of her mental health rather than continuing to compete and presumably winning all the medals she was expected to win.  She let the world know that it is okay to have a bad day.  She let the world know that one should speak up if things are not okay.  She let the world know that it is okay to be imperfect. She let the world know that anyone can have an emotional problem, and having that problem does not reflect a weakness in one’s character.  Facing the problem actually shows strength.  Caring for oneself shows strength.  Simone Biles’ response to her situation will not prompt a sweeping change in people’s comfort level with the mental health conversation, but it will move the meter a little bit forward, and with each advance of that meter the conversation becomes easier to have.

Simone Biles’ decision to take charge of her life and take care of herself showed an enormous amount of strength.  That strength offered the world another chance to have a conversation about mental health.  The more these conversations happen, the more people will begin to hear and absorb the message that mental health is not a pariah and is treatable.  It is not a sign of weakness to confront and acknowledge a mental health issue.  Anyone can have mental health challenges.  And the more often the subject of mental health becomes a topic of conversation, the quicker the subject will become more comfortable to discuss and easier for people to acknowledge, and we will continue to erode the stigma that is still attached to having mental health challenges. 


National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute on Mental Health

Heads Together Mental Health

the return

I can’t even remember my last blog entry. It was ages ago. I have been debating whether or not to explain the reason for my silence, and I have decided to share the information that my husband and I lost our oldest son on December 31, 2019. It has been a long journey from then until today, but I am now able to sit down and once again write about mental health issues. Today I am finally ready to think outside of my own pain.

During the past 2 years, I paid a lot of attention to the media around me for many reasons. I found that TV shows, news articles, podcasts and interviews were discussing all phases of mental health. People were getting depressed and having anxiety from quarantining due to Covid-19. High-profile people shared their experiences with post-partum depression and other life events. People are being more honest about having depression and anxiety, openly explaining what they have done to treat it and conquer it.

The reason for the new interest in mental health issues is not at the heart of the issue. I just think it’s great that the interest has definitely increased. Wouldn’t it be nice if the stigma surrounding the mental health arena is beginning to wane? I know that I still have some shyness about raising my hand and saying “me too,” but I am getting closer to being more comfortable with acknowledging to the outside world that I have a mental disorder. But what is really cool is that within my own internal world, I know I am a perfectly normal human being who happens to be dealing with a mental disorder. It took me a long time to make peace with this element of my being, but I can even joke about my disorder now and know that it is not what defines me. There is a long list of items that define me, and an anxiety disorder is just a condition I have, not who I am. I used to think that if people knew about my anxiety disorder, they would look at me differently, and it would be the first thing that came to their minds when they saw me. Well, it might be something they think of when they think of me, but that thought would also have to trigger a long list of other characteristics. They also have to think that this woman is a strong and vibrant human being with lots to offer this world. They would have to include in that list my being a wife, mother, grandmother, sculptor, swimmer, hiker, and at the very top of the list, a happy and productive person who also has an anxiety disorder. Those are some of the qualities that define me.

For resources for help please refer to the list below.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute on Mental Health

Heads Together Mental Health

Erode the Stigma

I have been writing a blog about mental health illness for over three years, with a primary emphasis on the stigma that is attached to having a mental illness, measures that can be taken in order to help ourselves get past the stigma and get help, and encouraging those suffering from mental illness to acknowledge their situation.  I have chosen this direction because the stigma is real and it is pervasive.  The stigma is slowly receding with the advent of well-known people speaking up about their own challenges with mental illness, but we do have a long way to go and I will continue to write and promote mental well-being.

My words have reached people in far away places, not only throughout the United States, where I reside, but as far away as Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Russia, England, Iran, and India.  Hopefully, these people have found some support from reading the blogs, but I feel a bit uncomfortable standing on a soapbox and shouting that we should all talk about our mental health challenges and not be shy or embarrassed about telling our stories.  I am acknowledging that I am still affected by this stigma of having a mental health illness.  At times, I find myself silent when it comes to talking about my own situation in public.  I wonder how people will respond to me after I divulge my secret? On the computer, protected by cyberspace, I speak out.  But in person, I always question if I really want to mention that I have an anxiety disorder.  More often than not, I do speak up about this challenge with which I have struggled , and I am able to speak out proactively, but I am still a bit gun-shy about the subject.  I can only imagine what a challenge it must be for other people with a mental illness who are not writing about this topic to openly speak up.

I read an article that appeared in the September 2019 edition of Men’s Health magazine written by a man who is studying to become a psychiatrist.  He states that during his interview for his residency, he was asked why he really wanted to become a psychiatrist. He danced all around the answer, but never admitted to his interviewer that he had battled depression and knew what it was like from the other side.  What he wanted to say was, “ I have been depressed, and I have recovered.  And my experience gave me an empathetic understanding of the patients we’re commonly devoted to.”  He goes on to say that stating that fact would have been his most relevant qualification, not the rather impressive resume of past education.  He also acknowledged that making that statement would have been his “greatest achievement.”  The article ended with these words, “Every time you talk about depression, you erode the stigma – yours and everyone else’s.”



National Alliance On Mental Health

National Institute On Mental Health

Heads Together Mental Health

Stop Being Selfish

This morning I had a long and wonderful conversation with one of my dearest friends. We chatted about so many things concerning our families.  We wandered from the cute things our grandkids say, to the challenge of so many personalities spending quality time together on summer vacations, and of course we covered the picky eating habits of just about everyone, which make large family dinners very challenging.  The topic that took over the end of our conversation was the different strains of mental illness in both of our families, including, at one time or another, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADD, and ADHD.  Almost all of those within these two families who are living with mental illness have reached out for and gotten the help that he/she needed, and all those people are living good, productive, happy lives.  Little thought is given to these illnesses from day to day.   However, two family members will not admit that they need help, and therefore are suffering in unnecessary ways, and they are depriving themselves of the happielives they could lead.  There is absolutely no reason that anyone should suffer with depression, or anxiety, or bipolar disorder.  There are so many medications and therapies available.

I don’t know why these two people are in denial.  Family members have tried to talk to both of them to encourage them to seek help.  But nothing has worked to get these two people moving in the right direction.  The saddest part is that not only do these people continue to suffer, but the whole family around them suffers as well.  It is very difficult to be around someone who is always sad.  It is very difficult to be around someone who is always anxious.  It is really difficult to be around someone who is manic.  It is really selfish for someone to refuse to get help for him/herself, because that person is impacting more lives than just their own by staying in a place of disfunction, pain, and sadness.

Please do not join the rank of sufferers.  Stop being selfish.  Find a doctor that specializes in mental health illness.  Make an appointment with that doctor.  Go to that appointment. Talk to your doctor about a plan of action that can bring you to a fuller, happier, richer life – for both you and your family.

Below is a list of organizations that can help you start helping yourself.

National Alliance On Mental Illness

National Institute on Mental Health

Heads Together Mental Health


We are all familiar with service animals that are trained to provide help for their owners in a variety of different ways.  Service animals can be trained to lead a blind person, support the head of someone having a seizure, or detect an imminent panic attack, among other tasks.  However, new on the scene are emotional-support animal(ESA) that provide emotional support to students on a college campus suffering with a mental illness, i.e., depression or anxiety.  The animal is not specifically trained (as would be a service animal) to give emotional support, which can lead to such an animal being indistinguishable from a regular pet.  Inasmuch as the number of college students with clinical depression or anxiety is today rising, ESAs are becoming more common on campuses.

As a result of the Americans With Disabilities Act, which describes a service animal as one that is trained to perform a task its owner can’t, schools have formulated and implemented a clear policy pertaining to the use and housing of service animals on college campuses.  However, the use of ESAs (as reported in a January 23, 2019 Philadelphia Inquirer article in The Region section) is a more recent development, and there is less of a clear-cut policy defining the use of an emotional-support animal.  At the moment, permission for having an ESA in campus housing is granted based on a letter from a medical provider explaining that the person requesting an ESA has a diagnosed mental illness and that an animal is necessary to help this person cope.  Unfortunately, a problem arises when students feign mental health issues in order to obtain permission to have their favorite pet accompany them to college.  This is a kink that needs to be worked out, and may prevent a doctor from writing the necessary letter.  This all being said, there are other avenues to take in order to get the needed letter that will allow someone with a mental illness to bring an ESA to campus.  If you can not get your doctor to write the required letter, there is an organization called CertaPet (that is but one of a number of such organizations) that is able to certify the need for an ESA after conducting a clinical assessment by phone with a person who is requesting emotional support.

There is plenty of research that has been conducted in thfield of ESAs, but little of this research proves the if, how, or why an ESA works.  There were a number of students who were interviewed for the Inquirer article giving glowing reports on the benefits of having an ESA, but all the data received was anecdotal information.  Molly Crossman, a researcher at Yale who focuses on human-animal interaction, is cited in the Inquirer article as noting that research has been limited to short-term interactions which does not give a full picture of the benefits of an ESA.  It seems as though the final chapter has yet to be written on the benefits of an ESA, but nothing appears to suggest that ESAs do not serve a helpful purpose.



National Alliance On Mental Illness

National Institute On Mental Health

Heads Together Mental Health

the mood changed

“ We talk about mental-health in a reactive way, after a Kate Spade or an Anthony Bourdain commits suicide.  Part of me wonders, if we were to normalize talking about mental health, how many people could we keep from that kind of suffering?” (This sentence appeared at the end of an article that I read recently.)

Most people just do not want to talk about mental-health illness.  The topic of mental-health illness is not found on any list of acceptable subjects for polite conversation.  If the topic creeps in during an evening gathering, the tone of the conversation changes.  People get quiet.  A hush comes over the room.  Eye contact ceases.  People begin to look down into their laps or off to the side.  They squirm in their seats, and sit counting the minutes until the conversation can be changed.

Just the other evening I was with a group of wonderful, bright, witty women, all of whom happen to have partaken in therapy at one time or another.  They are no strangers to the concept of seeking help, and of knowing the benefits of that help.  However, only one of these women knew that I had actually suffered from depression and anxiety.  We were all laughing, drinking, eating, and sharing personal stories.  After awhile, each person had made an off-handed reference to their experience with therapy, leading me to feel safe enough that I could share my story with these wonderful, bright, witty women.  At a moment in the conversation that seemed apt for an appropriate segue, I shared that I write a blog about mental health, and in particluar about the stigma that is so unfortunately attached to it.  I was immediately aware of the change in the mood around me.  Everyone got quiet.  No one knew what to say.  Wonderful, bright, witty, women, all of whom had some experience with a mental health issue, and perhaps even the medications that often accompany a mental health problem, were embarassed by my acknowledging my own battle with mental illness.  To this moment, I do not remember how the conversation moved forward.  I became self-concious, and I know I stopped talking.  The evening continued on, but this incident will certainly make me think carefully before sharing that information again.

If this can happen to me, someone who writes a blog about mental health, someone who can speak about it a bit more freely than many others, how can we expect the average joe to find this topic comfortable?  If the people who understand it are uncomfortable, then how can we expect those who have no idea about mental health illness begin to gain a level of comfort in a conversation dealing with this topic?

The solution to getting rid of the stigma that accompanies mental illness needs to start with us – the people who have a mental illness.  We need to be the ones to speak up and out about our own experiences.  Let people know that we are normal, wonderful, bright, witty, people with a health issue.


National Alliance on Mental Illness

National Institute on Mental Health

Heads Together Mental Health