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What is the biggest thing that keeps JAK’s Place from being all that it can be? STIGMA It keeps people away. People don’t want to be seen here, They don’t want to be associated with …gasp… mental illness. Many of them avoid seeking help that they badly need. Some of them commit suicide. All because mental illness is seen as something it is not. Our job is to break the myths, to reveal the truth. Because the truth will set us free. It’s not a perfect world, and no one in it is perfect. We need to accept our imperfections and those of others. Only by accepting can we bring about positive changes.
If you break a leg, you have to accept that it is broken; otherwise, you won’t call a doctor, right? It’s the same with mental illness. Denying it, hiding behind the fear of stigma, denies the possibility of understanding and gaining control. It prevents recovery. Let’s make this year’s Mental Illness Awareness Week the first week of a new attitude. Take the stigma-free pledge, and step out with an open mind and open hands.
I AM Stigma Free
Learn about Mental Health
See the person, not the illness
http://www.nami.org/miaw If one of every five people experience mental illness, it must be pretty normal. – Reality Harper
Rev. Ken Boettcher