Trigger Alert: I was 17 when I tried to commit suicide. My relationship with my father was horrible. Things were miserable at my high school for me also. I tried to end my life by cutting my wrists with a safety razor. However, I only scratched them up and didn’t do any real damage (because.. safety razor). It was a cry for help and no one heard me. I remember wearing long sleeves in gym class when it was hot so I could cover my bandages. I was happy that nothing worse happened, but scared that I would feel that way again.
While that was my only brush with suicide, I was depressed over the years and it finally got worse in 1999, when I was 28. I was able to function at work, but I would just fall apart at home. Everything had lost its joy. There was an episode that finally got me to do something about my depression. I had been walking on the streets of NYC with my younger brother and he was alarmed at something I did (I hung up a receiver on a pay phone that was hanging — couldn’t help myself) and the way I was talking. He convinced me it was time to see a psychologist and to think about helping myself. I saw a psychologist who helped me and I also went on depression medication under the care of a doctor. It was the right decision for me and made all the difference. I still watch myself to make sure I am okay. And I watch for it in my kids, even though they are ages 10, 8, and 5.
Did you know that mental illnesses, such as depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia, and ADD, affect millions of people worldwide? I’m partnering with Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), a nonprofit organization built to start the conversation about mental health. Co-founded by Glenn Close, they are hoping to amplify its mission by bringing this discussion about mental illness online to build the awareness, understanding, and empathy necessary to inspire action to end stigma and discrimination. It’s a message that I feel is worthwhile.
Check out this video:
I want to know your story. Please share your own story about mental illness, whether it’s your personal story or through someone you love.
Learning about the experiences of others can help reduce the stigma associated with mental illness and give those who are suffering the courage to seek help.
To end the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental illness through widely distributed Public Education Materials based on the latest scientific insights and measured for effectiveness. To act as a portal to a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.
Bring Change 2 Mind is a national anti-stigma campaign aimed at removing misconceptions about mental illness. The idea was born out of a partnership between Glenn Close and Fountain House, where Glenn volunteered in order to learn more about mental illness, which both her sister, Jessie Close, and nephew, Calen Pick, live with.