Working to end the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.

News and Blog

Blog: Can People Change? By Nanci Schiman

No matter how frightening, fearful or painful the behaviors, driven by illness, hormones or environment, I firmly believe that they are just that – behaviors – and as such, they are temporary. Sure, they may be stubborn; we may hang onto them because they are self-serving, addictive, gratifying or enticing. But none of those can come close to touching the building blocks of our true selves.  Read More »

Blog: Miracles by Adrienne Gurman

I enjoy sharing my stories to connect with others who might be struggling and hiding in the shadows with their mental illness. Writing is a form of therapy for me. It helps me to manage my anxiety when I’m overwhelmed and keep my priorities in check when depression has managed to seep through every pore and infect my brain. Read More »

Blog: Magic and Loss by Henry Boy Jenkins

If I want to maintain an effective relationship with my therapist - and if I want to stay healthy myself - I need to be dedicated, purposeful, and unflinchingly honest. I need to believe that she is doing the same. Our job together is to help me make sense of my symptoms, to develop new coping strategies, and to prepare me for the more challenging situations I will face.  Read More »

Blog: Hiding by Jessie Close

Why do you think those of us who have mental illness tend to hide when we’re not feeling well? The easy answer is: stigma and misunderstanding.  Read More »

Blog: Rating My Pain by Nanci Schiman

In that brief moment I was reminded of how isolating and unpredictable our deepest emotions can be. Often we are afraid to think of them or acknowledge them; for fear that these emotions will grow bigger than us, swallowing us alive. We tuck them away, securing the lid tightly. Sooner or later, the lid will come loose again, or pop right off, and there it will be. Pain. Read More »

Blog: Crazy by Henry Boy Jenkins

Be authentic. Show the world your real face. Be willing to speak from your heart so that others can better understand your disorder or condition, thereby distinguishing the myth from the person in front of them. You will likely see what I see: that with faith in one another we are not alone, and that together we can end the stigma and discrimination that we experience every day. We can live without shame or ridicule, from without or within. We have a right to be treated as human beings, not monsters or rejects.  Read More »

Blog: Montana Rain by Jessie Close

I wouldn’t want to be independent of friends and family. Independence calls for taking care of ourselves. I know what it is to be devoid of humor, to feel crappy and want to isolate. Sometimes it’s inevitable but at other times just reaching out to a friend is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Have a great 4th and laugh!  Read More »

Blog: The Numbers Game by Nanci Schiman

So if my teenager needs to take a year or two to catch up, to truly live and feel, then please don’t try to put her star shape into a square hole. Don’t ask her the ‘standard’ questions about a prefab future. Try asking about her here and now or her dreams. Or better yet, let her ask the questions. Read More »

Blog: Pinwheel by Henry Boy Jenkins

My objective is to share my experience, strength, and hope, by asking you to spend a few moments in my shoes. We can create a conversation where silence might have been. Misinformation fuels the stigma and discrimination that every person living with a mental illness feels daily, doing little to address the more significant challenges at hand: affordable health care, cultural inclusion, solvency, acceptance, and authentic, respectful support. Read More »

Blog: It’s Raining!! by Jessie Close

Sitting here in my living room now, with my four doggies on the couch with me, I am happy to say that my mood is steady even though it’s raining. I’m not particularly happy about grey light and chill air but I can take advantage of it and roll it into a cozy afternoon. It was only a week ago that I was sliding into depression; the sky was grey then too. What makes the difference between getting depressed and not getting depressed?  Read More »

Blog: Letting Go - Part Three by Nanci Schiman

So it’s no wonder that when the topic of discharge planning came up during my daughter’s time in residential treatment, we all struggled. Tremendously. I struggled because I was still in protective mom mode, assuming that I needed to parent the way I had in the past. My daughter struggled because she was feeling stronger, more capable, more trusting of her stability, her skills and herself.  Read More »

Blog: Back to the Music by Keith Anderson

We all have certain songs that can bring back good memories. Others songs remind us of difficult or sad times, so we avoid them. I know I do. Or we just enjoy a song as we listen; it makes us feel good.  Read More »

Blog: Oranges by Henry Boy Jenkins

If you care for a person with a mental illness, how can you help? Begin by listening without judgement, as you would to anyone else. Refrain from attempting to correct the convergence of ideas that their neural pathways create. Just listen. Is there an urgency to the message? You can sense that. Are they showing an emotion you can recognize, despite the nature of the words, the cadence of their speech? Listen actively, without reason. Bring your shared history with you. Bring love. Read More »

Blog: Letting Go – Part Two by Nanci Schiman

So, in the light of day, I had to let go of my fears, and hang on for dear life to the only hope left. And that required me to let go of my daughter, to entrust her care to strangers who could hopefully do what I could not. Save her life. Not just in the literal sense of keeping her alive, but also in giving her back a life that she could cherish.  Read More »

Blog: Am I, or Am I Not, My Medication? by Jessie Close

I do understand how it’s possible to feel like being under water when first taking psychiatric medications. In the beginning, the drugs can make us feel separate, sick, tired or sometimes too up. Getting used to new medication can be a real trial.  Read More »

Blog: Harm’s Way by Henry Boy Jenkins

The reasons for self-injury are as varied as the individuals who share this widely misunderstood symptom. People living with bipolar disorder, PTSD, depression, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder are all at risk for self-harming behavior. If this is you, take heart. You are not alone, and you can get help.  Read More »

Blog: Letting Go - Part One by Nanci Schiman

We have a rule in our family. If you get a song stuck in your head, you are NOT allowed, under ANY circumstances, to share that song with anyone else in the family. Because, of course, that will cause said song to become stuck in said other family members’ head. Of all the rules we’ve had, tried or tossed, this one has been a keeper. Until now. Because I’m going to break that rule, not with my family, but with all of you.  Read More »

Blog: Mother’s Day by Jessie Close

Today, being able to invite my three children and my grandbaby into my home, with nothing to hide, is the most precious gift I have ever given to myself and to them. I’m proud of myself and I’m proud of my children. We have come through the fire of addiction and mental illness and we’ve come out on top. Read More »

Blog: Straws by Henry Boy Jenkins

It is human to offer support. It teaches us to recognize our strengths and weaknesses, to let go of ego and give meaning to life. We learn about borders and boundaries, as opposed to fences and defenses. Caring for one another is our collective responsibility. It is a defining component of wellness. Read More »

Blog: Let’s Talk by Jessie Close

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. I hope to reveal my mental illness to strangers more than usual this month. I’ll start the conversation by saying, “Do you know that this month is Mental Health Awareness Month? I have a mental illness and I’m so very grateful that we can at least talk about it this month, aren’t you?” Or, if you want to be more brazen, ask “Is there mental illness in your family? There is in mine…” Let’s get out there and start the conversation. Begin by talking to neighbors, taxi drivers, store clerks, EVERYONE!!!!  Read More »

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