While I have no plans to live on Mars, I would like to start living more fully on planet Earth. I'm sure I'll still have to "take a minute" from time to time as my head and my heart continue to sync up. But in the meantime, I'd like to work on getting back to looking forward. I'd like to pencil in some hope.
Dignity is every human's birthright, one value that can cut across all cultures and situations. All too often, those of us with mental health challenges have experienced their dignity being taken , though, by stigma and discrimination, forceful, demeaning and negative treatment, by silencing and shame.
Even still, talking about these things allows everyone to be on the same page. If I had known that my mother was actually suffering from a mental illness then I may have been better able to recognize the signs she was clearly showing before she took her life. I may not have been able to stop her, but I would have been given the opportunity to try.
Some people think science is dry or boring and has nothing to do with their lives. Still more believe that science has become so complex that politicians are incapable of talking about it, that no one but scientists can discuss it. But science is now so integral to every aspect of our lives that it has to be talked about by those who wield power.
One of the most important things is understanding the difference between mental illness and wellness. The more we talk about mental health the way we talk about physical health, the more we can decrease the stigma and shame that often impedes those in our communities from getting the help that they need. Please share your stories, join the discussion and stay tuned!