World Mental Health Day

Today, October 10th, is also World Mental Health Day.

 “Mental illness affects all of us, but there are still many myths and misconceptions about these disorders,”

Rosalynn Carter, Founder

Carter Center’s Mental Health Program 

I am re-posting (with a few additions) a post I wrote in May.

How do we de-stigmatize mental illness?   Reframe the discussion.  Okay.

So….What is mental illness?

It is a disease of the brain.

Brandon Staglin and his family want to drive the discussion of mental health in the right direction.  They are funding research on brain disease.

In 1990, Brandon was a freshman at Dartmouth College when he suddenly began experiencing strange symptoms.  “He felt a strange lightness around his right eye and couldn’t recognize his emotions. He’d stay awake for days….” (from “Brain Trust” in Forbes Magazine).  He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia.

In 1995 the family went public,  holding a yearly music festival on their vineyard in California to raise money for the cause.  They founded the International Mental Health Research Organization raising $140 million for schizophrenia research.  Recently, Brandon’s father, Garin, with Patrick J. Kennedy, have started One Mind For Research .

One Mind for Research’s plan to work smarter and share resources through public and private partnerships has the power to help us make more progress on every brain disorder from schizophrenia to traumatic brain injury.

Do we fault people for getting strep throat or pneumonia?  Understand this. The brain is an organ that can get sick just like the stomach or lungs.   Funding research from this perspective would be a huge step in the process of reducing the stigma of “mental illness.”

Join the cause.  Blog about mental health today , de-stigmatize mental illness AND donate to research on diseases of the brain.