The Disability:IN Conference was this week. I represented Raytheon, Raytheon Alliance for Diverse Abilities, Disability:IN Southern California, KMK Enterprises, as Epilepsy California. I am a busy person. I was able to speak 2 times at the conference and was actively involved in hiring and networking. I was able to gain knowledge on best practices but also teach others on my experiences. It was a wonderful experience. Today, I am going to talk about the "Stop the Stigma around mental Health". Let's be honest everyone has a different brain so why is this such an issue?Stigma is a powerful force working to divide each of us. Who is better, who can be better? What is normal? The Sigma limits the generosity that is directed to an issue area that is affecting the fabric of our society and most of our everyday lives.
When it comes to mental health, we all have a personal story to tell. Statistically 1:4 Americans will personally deal with some type of mental illness in their lifetime and almost everyone will have a family member suffering from mental illness in addition to this statistic. The hard part is when it happens at the same time, how do you handle it? "Are strong enough?" is not always the tag line that should be used. Are you prepared or do you have the resource is the real question. The answer is almost always "NO" or NO... Heck No...
This is a growing public health epidemic that spares no social class, ethnicity or geography. And it may be the biggest opportunity to turn the tide on the deeper costs of incarceration, drug addiction and poverty.
This is one of the many reasons this is what I do and why I do it. I want to be integrated into the areas that I can help make real change, but also have the network available when I do need help.