Sheila Phelan wrote -
I am training for the NYC Half Marathonon the morning of March 17th. Yes, St. Patrick's Day. Who would have guessed I'd be getting up for a running race back in my Dubliner or Dublin days? Things do evolve. I honored to run on behalf of Bring Change 2 Mind, http://www.bringchange2mind.org/, a non-profit organization whose goal is 'working together to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness'.
Glenn Close started this amazing and critically important organization in honor of her sister and nephew, both of whom live and and even thrive with mental illness.
Reducing the stigmatization of mental illness and discrimination against those who co-exist with it has long been a passion of mine. I have seen the effects up close, and they are heart breaking.
The upside is that this really is something we can start to fix in our daily lives. We can be more open in the way we discuss mental illness. We can be sensitive to the struggles of those who live with it, and that would be 1 in 4 of us on one level or another.. To me it is also really important to be congnizant of words or attitudes that are inaccurate, demeaning or potentially humiliating. There are polite ways not to tolerate intolerance or ignorance, and there is an awful lot of ignorance out there. Anything that we do to inform and help educate helps to change the landscape and helps to provide a safety zone. That's how we start.
The safer we make it for people living with mental illness to discuss it, the greater the chance that they will seek and get the help they need. This is important for them and for all of us. This is how we can contribute and it's is an easy way to start. BringChange2Mind is a luminous example of helping our society to get to that place. I am running for them and for everyone I know who has been affected by mental illness. I run to make it better for them. If they have the courage and strength to fight the fight that they do every day, I can run a few miles on their behalf
I would be so very grateful for any support you can give.