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Mental Illness: The Stigma of Silence

Glen Close @ The Huffington Post - What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, more unashamed conversation about illnesses that affect not only individuals, but their families as well. Our society ought to understand that many people with mental illness, given the right treatment, can be full participants in our society. Anyone who doubts it ought to listen to Kay Redfield Jamison, a psychiatry professor at Johns Hopkins, vividly describe her own battles with bipolar disorder.

Over the last year, I have worked with some visionary groups to start BringChange2Mind.org, an organization that strives to inspire people to start talking openly about mental illness, to break through the silence and fear. We have the support of every major, American mental health organization and numerous others.

I have no illusions that BringChange2Mind.org is a cure for mental illness. Yet I am sure it will help us along the road to understanding and constructive dialogue. It will help deconstruct and eliminate stigma.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by the year 2020 mental illness will be the second leading cause of death and disability. Every society will have to confront the issue. The question is, will we face it with open honesty or silence? Read more.

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