I’m Standing Up for Mental Health

Last year Healthy Place: America’s Mental Health Channel contacted me to be a part of a new mental health campaign launching today called Stand Up for Mental Health.

Stand Up for Mental Health is asking people who have already disclosed their mental health condition, or who are now ready to do so, to “stand up” in hopes that others will follow.

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I love this campaign because in 2013, there are still millions of people with all types of mental health disorders who are in hiding because they are afraid and ashamed. And sadly stigma runs rampant.

Hiding because of stigma (while very understandable) does absolutely no good for recovery or treatment. Stigma keeps people from reaching out when they need it most. Loved ones of those with mental illness may be ashamed or scared to reach out as well. And people are getting hurt.

If something doesn’t change, mental health stigma will affect us all for generations to come. And I personally want to do my part to help remove stigma.

I believe its important to share my own struggles with mental illness publicly here on my blog. To let others know they’re not alone. To be very clear that having a mental illness does not make me weak, or a bad or troubled person. It just means I have an illness that needs treatment and vigilance.

For my part of the Healthy Place campaign, I did something that scared the crap out of me to do, BUT because mental health awareness is so important to me, I’ve done it. I recorded a video blog for the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign about why I choose to publicly disclose my mental illness.

In it, I share the impetus for “coming out” in 2010 after the suicide of a dear lifelong friend. It was emotional and nerve-wracking for me to record for many reasons (especially since I’m not a vlogger or public speaker normally) but I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch and to share with others.

You can also find my video and other stigma videos on Healthy Place focusing on two themes: 1. Was there a time when mental health stigma prevented you from disclosing that you had a mental illness? 2. Why did you publicly disclose your mental health condition and what was the impact of that? These videos can be found here: http://www.healthyplace.com/stigma/stand-up-for-mental-health/mental-health-stigma-videos/

I hope you’ll consider joining the Stand Up for Mental Health campaign.

If you have a blog or web site, you can join Stand Up for Mental Health by adding a button to your site. You’ll see mine in the left hand side bar. You can find the images/code for the buttons HERE. And if you don’t have a web site but still want to support the campaign via social media, you can also download Facebook, Google+ and other social media banner images HERE.

Have you disclosed your mental illness? Will you?

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About Cristi Comes

Warrior Mom. Wife. Writer. Advocate for mental health, suicide prevention, self care, self image and style. Technology and social media lover. Board of Directors, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Washington State Chapter. Editorial Team Postpartum Progress.

Comments

  1. Oh this is great! I have two small boys, am a stay at home mom, I relate to the medication post you made since I am the same. Both my boys had to stay at the hospital because of withdrawals but because of other meds besides antidepressants. I too tried to get off for my kids and it was worse! Anyways I wanted to say thank you, I feel so alone sometimes and my dr would rather list my diagnosies as depression, anxiety, bi polar, ADHD, and PTSD instead of borderline personality disorder because the stigma is so bad in goverment/healthcare. I actually have BPD, ADHD and PTSD. I think I’m just naturally sensitive lol. But I want to do this, I’ve always been upfront about my illness because I don’t want anyone else to go through the awful stuff I did. Anyways sorry for ambling, it’s 4:51am here and I couldn’t sleep… Thank you!

  2. Hi! I love this campaign! I participated in the first 2010 World Mental Health Day blog hop and have ever since. Here is my original blog post, and I have contributed it to the Stand Up campaign.
    I felt it was important to come out about my mental illness as a mental health professional to show that one can have depression/PPD and can still be a functioning professional. End the stigma!
    Kathy Morelli,LPC recently posted..Postpartum Depression – Stand Up for Mental Health Blog HopMy Profile

  3. PS I really LOVE your vlog! Its great to meet you in person kinda!
    Kathy Morelli,LPC recently posted..Postpartum Depression – Stand Up for Mental Health Blog HopMy Profile

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