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June 29, 2004
The Long Haul: Fighting Day-to-Day Mental Illness Stigma
Read more... Schizophrenia Advocacy
Although we are all tempted at times to tease our friends with good-natured name-calling - obsessive, nut-case, whacko, psycho - Stigmabusters at NAMI remind us that these terms can perpetuate harmful stigmas held against the mentally ill population.
The Stigmabusting team at NAMI takes issue with insensitive images and slogans that they find in the media - everything from Disney to Nintendo to the Boy Scout magazine 'A Boy's Life'
Robert Lundin, active NAMI stigmabuster and schizophrenia patient, is a prime example of someone seeking change in issues that directly affect his own life. Lundin speaks simply about his illness and his life at police departments, schools, companies, nursing homes, and community centers, believing that "There is no more powerful way to change attitudes than to make positive contact with people with mental illnesses."
Lundin has also co-authored his own story in "Don't Call Me Nuts: Coping With the Stigma of Mental Illness", in an effort to bring that positive contact to a larger audience.
Lundin finds that after hearing him speak, many people with similar problems feel encouraged enough to come forward and seek help. Others who are not diagnosed themselves find better understanding for the mentally ill they encounter at work, at school, or in their neighborhoods.
Schizophrenia.com is proud and happy to be doing our part to foster positive contact between those with mental illness and those that interact with them. This positive impact comes largely from the active participation of our members, who freely and generously share experience, stories, advice and support. Thank you all for being stigmabusters!
To read Robert Lundin's own account of his illness and his struggles with stigma, see 'Coping With A Major Mental Illness' at http://schizophrenia.com/stories/ludkin.html
To read more about NAMI's stigmabusting efforts, or to become an official NAMI Stigmabuster yourself, see 'Fight Stigma: Become a StigmaBuster!' at www.NAMI.org
Source: Chicago Final Edition, Section Q ; Zone C; Pg. 7
Posted by Julia at June 29, 2004 04:59 PM
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