is a blog of The Menninger Clinic, one of the country’s leading psychiatric hospitals (if you need convincing, just ask U.S.News & World Report; they’ve named us a top hospital for 19 straight years). We’ll be talking–and listening–about an abundance of mental health topics and the stigma that so often surrounds people with mental illness. We invite you to share your thoughts and experiences with us on this journey toward overcoming stigma.

Decades ago, people didn’t talk about cancer, which might as well have been a four-letter word. But as people began to talk about it, good things started to happen:  more research was funded, new diagnostic tests and treatments were developed, more people got screened (often earlier), more patients got the emotional support they needed and more lives were saved.

Shouldn’t we do the same with mental illness?

Because good things happen when shame is erased and people feel free to seek treatment.  Because more research is needed. Because new assessments and treatments are vital. Because early help is a key to minimizing the disruptive nature of mental illness.  Because everyone deserves to live a productive, fulfilling life. Because precious lives are at stake, those of our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, children and grandchildren, friends and neighbors. Let’s start talking.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Faye August 20, 2014 at 1:16 am

Flash forward 46 years, and… successfully employed, happily married, highly functional — AND STILL MENTALLY ILL (with adult-diagnosed ADHD thrown into the mix). Only now, I’m loud and proud about who I am and why it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. IN ABUNDANCE, I have compassion, perspective, caring, non-judgmentalism, the capacity to receive people JUST AS THEY ARE rather than withholding favor because of who and what they’re not. STIGMA?? Quite the contrary! Mental illness has been and always will be a gift, and I am thankful for it, for forcing me to evolve into a deeper, finer, kinder, more accepting and loving person than I could ever have become without it.

When was the last time someone asked if your childhood bout of measles/mumps/chicken pox transformed your life? No stigma with those… and no expectation of transformation, either. Get treatment, get help, get off your pity pot and WAKE UP to how mental illness can reshape your life FOR THE BETTER!

Maria Antonia Rivera October 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I listened to the commercial and it started me thinking “do I have bipolar?” I have been told for years that I’m depressed, but no matter what medication I’m on. I still don’t function. I wish I could, but I just can’t. I want help! I just have not had any luck finding a good doctor. A doctor that cares enough to find out what’s wrong with me. So thanks for at least giving me some kind of hope for my future.

deborah December 6, 2011 at 12:39 am

Just found this site. Our daughter, age 16, suffers from PTSD, due to child abuse prior to abandonment at age 5. We adopted her at age 7 and after 2 years of migraines, anxiety and depression, we have finally found psychiatrists we trust who gave this diagnose and are managing her treatment. But we are seeing more and more her inability to function on a day-to-day basis…things are getting worse and may continue to do so before they get better. And the doctors are recommending Menninger. Since her medications, therapy, and a DBT teen group are, in combination, not effective enough, we are beginning to realize she may need more intensive treatment. We want to do what’s best for our daughter but we are scared that “institutionalizing” her even for 2-3 months could have an “abandonment” negative impact while we are trying to have a positive impact w/treatment. Plus are daughter is already feeling like she’s going “crazy”, “insane”, and we’re concerned taking her to a full treatment program would reinforce this (even tho we think it could help her). We’ve heard wonderful things about Menninger, and we trust her doctors, but if there’s anyone out there who has used it for their teen and seen long-lasting results, we would really appreciate your advice. Thank you!

Cheryl Lauricella October 24, 2010 at 11:00 am

Thanks for bringing me hope that there are people out there who want to end stigmatizing of mental illness!!

Brendan May 11, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Just stumbled here by accident myself. Some really great stuff here. Please keep it up!

David Bassett May 10, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Just discovered this site thanks to Jon Allen. Terrific

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