Hello again! It’s Shirley.
For too long society has made talking about someone’s mental health taboo, unless of course, it is in hushed tones at work or at home. Somehow we have come to believe that if we speak about mental illness in casual, open conversation in the light of day that we can either make that person sicker or perhaps what they have will rub off onto us.
I would like to make three statements about mental illness to clear the air.
First, let me state unequivocally that YOU CANNOT “CATCH” a mental health disorder from someone else. Mental illness is not a virus nor is it contagious.
Second, living with a mental health disorder is NOT a death sentence and most are highly treatable.
Third, people whose lives are affected by a mental health problem need your help and support, not hushed discussions behind their back or being ignored out of fear.
Only with open and honest dialogue can we as a society defeat the brain dysfunctions that are involved in the creation of a mental health problem.
Only with open and honest dialogue can we as a society defeat childhood abuse, a major cause in the brain changes involved in the formation of many mental health problems.
And, only with open and honest dialogue can we as a society change the conversation about mental illness so that researchers can continue to understand the genetics behind many mental illnesses.
We are on the cusp of a great revolution in the treatment of mental illness. So, let’s talk.