Let's Stand Up for Mental Health

HealthyPlace's articles on children's mental health

In every society there are stereotypes and prejudice. Our society is no different. Many illnesses, but especially mental illness, are a hidden and hushed topic.
Letting people know who we are and what we are living with can be scary and risky. So we live in shame and worry about our “truth” being outed. It colors many areas of our lives. The sense of isolation takes away our power to get the needs of our kids met effectively, and to take their place in society as important and productive members.

Fighting Stigma

HealthyPlace is running a campaign about the stigma of mental illness. We all know the length and breadth of these stereotypes, having lived with it. Educating the public is important. But there is one key area, and that is our standing up and facing the stigma that we ourselves might also be carrying. Letting a dialog begin about mental illnesses, what they are, who we are, how we are affected, allows others to see that this is not a shameful subject and bring these topics into the open. Fear can be pushed aside by the open give and take of conversation for people to see the realities of mental illness. Like all other illnesses that have lost or are losing their stigma it is not acceptable to be treated as pariah or defective. We need dedicated treatment and will no longer be placed behind a curtain of shame.

Standing Up For Our Kids

We need a voice. Our voice.

Many people have shared their stories of their experiences both before and after “coming out” with their illness at Healthy Place and personal areas of the internet. ”Stand Up For Mental Health” allows others to see how many people live with it and that it isn’t a taboo topic. Healthy Place is bringing to the public eye the reality of our existence and our value.

The Balanced Mind Parent Network is proud to be involved in this campaign. There are many ways you can become involved, too. Banners that can be placed on your social networks pages (Facebook, web sites, and blogs,etc) as well as badges that can lead to education and conversation can be found at the site, also. I've placed a few myself at my pages and site. We, as a community, can come together and help make this campaign project successful and have an impact on lives, our own and future community members. Go visit the site and become strengthened and supported by so many others in this endeavor.

We have a voice. Let's use it.

I'm the mother of three children. Two are adults, Shawn and Sammie, and one, Elizabeth, who likes to think she is, but isn't yet. I am a mostly self taught artist, psuedo-writer of two blogs, Losing it...(in SO many ways) and Excitable Gurelle- The Queen of Bipolar. Both Elizabeth and myself are diagnosed with Bipolar and PTSD. She was diagnosed at 10 during a crisis but has always...and I do mean always...marched to her own drummer. She is my contrast kid; all emotions can be present in a day, or in a moment. My parental skills have been stretched and made to be creative living with her and I am grateful for it.


I am writing in response to this campaign because I feel, as a parent of a teen/young adult child with a mood disorder, mental health issue, or behavioral issue we are taken advantage of by the 'business' of treatment. I have two children: a daughter in boarding school, who is healthy and thriving, and a son who suffered from anxiety, depression. His mental condition led to failure in school, substance abuse ,and three treatment programs. I am appalled at the cost of these programs. My daughter's boarding school has posh facilities, dorms, a lovely dining hall, a student rec center, a full staff of counselors and an onsite psychologist, on site doctor and athletic trainer, teachers, administrators, and of course the support staff of custodians, cooks, etc. They have athletic facilities, a state of the art science center and art facilities; AND her boarding school is far, far less tuition than all three of my son's treatment programs!!! One program was in the wilderness, one was akin to an old creaky country home with surrounding cabins, and one is completely outpatient. I am told these are expensive to run because they have highly accredited professionals...well,so does my daughter's boarding school! Also, we have had to pay ridiculous fees to consultants to refer us to these programs, much more than we would pay if we hired an independent college counselor. Much of the information we needed should be available by calling or visiting the programs and speaking directly with the professionals working there. There should be a network with other parents who have had children at these treatment facilities. Yet, nobody has reached out to make it more easily available to share within a parental network their experiences from treatment programs, nor is there an online forum for parents and professionals to share (something akin to Yelp or trip advisor for treatment programs). I believe we all need to stand up, speak out, and band together to put an end to the escalating cost of seeking treatment. I find it shameful the 'business' behind mental health! I find it shameful because of the stigma associated with speaking openly about the problem we are lost as to how to find help without risking financial security. I hope this leads to change.


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