As some of you might know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a time for open dialogue about mental illnesses and elimination of the stigma attached to our conditions.
This was started in 1949 by Mental Health America, a national advocacy organization. But almost no one knew about it because psychiatric illnesses were a taboo subject and often accompanied by shame and embarrassment. We have made progress since then, but not enough. Too many people still believe that “mental patients” are dangerous and prone to violence, along with “crazy” behaviors. Yes, I’ve seen street people yell at trashcans. Yes, I’ve had a few psychotic experiences myself. It doesn’t mean we’re going to shoot up a school or go after strangers with a knife.
I would like to see my readers share some of their own stories during May. You all know mine. Be part of the Awareness movement!