For some people, it takes a personal connection to mental illness to take an interest in wanting to help those who live with it. But far more concerning than people who don't take an interest are those who go out of their way to shame or criticize those who are forced to live with an illness they would never choose for themselves.
Many, many people suffering from mental illness, including those who have experienced psychosis and hallucinations or who have lived through suicidal moments or even attempts, go on to live successful, productive lives. All we need to do is let them. Because it's not helping the mentally ill that we should fear. It's what happens if we don't.
My hope is that every person who walks through my door will feel as empowered to discuss the meaning of their illness openly with me, so we can work through the feelings together and create a common goal. Collaborative mental health care that acknowledges but surpasses stigma is the best treatment, and I wouldn't accept any alternative.