Sunday, July 26, 2015

Personal Essay: "We Are Not Alone. Mental Illness Is Real."

Sarah Fader is the founder of Stigma Fighters.  Sarah created a forum where people with mental illness, people like me, can share our stories.  1 in 5 Americans has a mental illness.  That is 42.5 million Americans, 18.2% of the American population [Newsweek February 28, 2014].  That does include teens and children who have mental illness.

Sarah is a powerful writer, an advocate, and a warrior.  Stigma Fighters allows people with mental illness to tell our stories, and talk about the pain, suffering, stigma and shame which encroaches our lives.  Last December, Sarah asked to include an essay I wrote about having PTSD in an anthology she was editing. Stigma Fighters Anthology was published May 29, 2015 by Gravity Imprint, which is directed by Rachel Thompson, and focuses on trauma and recovery. Sarah edited it, with the help of Allie Burke. All three women have essays in the anthology.

Please watch this video.  Then go buy Stigma Fighters Anthology (Volume 1), and read it.  If you don't have a mental illness, you probably know--and love--someone with mental illness.  Refusing to acknowledge mental illness means denying the existence of people with mental illness. Mental illness is real. We are going to end stigma by giving ourselves a voice. We are fighters, we are survivors, and we are not alone.

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