Sarah Fader wrote Fighting Against the Stigma of Mental illness about a year ago for the Huffington Post. Then she started a nonprofit organization, Stigma Fighters. She tells her own story and asks others to tell their own.
Stigma kills people and causes much of the suffering associated with mental illness. It worsens the isolation and secrecy that too often lead to suicide. It’s a crucially important topic! I believe that stigma recedes a little bit each time a person openly discusses their mental illness experience. The topic becomes a bit less toxic, more routine and normal. As stigma recedes, so too will some of the risk of suicide. We can save lives this way and ease millions of people’s’ suffering. I’ve found that open discussion heals the speaker as well. Dark secrets are such a burden that openness brings palpable relief.
I signed up yesterday and submitted my story. I heartily encourage others to do the same: you get a shirt too!