I asked for help, but instead, I got handcuffs.
“Hey, I need some help. I am having thoughts of ending my life. Is there someone I can talk to?” And 15 minutes later, I was in handcuffs in the back of a police car.
A few things I could have expected that night.
A talk with a counselor? Yes.
An ambulance? Maybe.
But handcuffs? Never.
I battled with Major Depression for over 8 years in a broken system and a world flooded with stigma. I was labeled, forced to go on disability, stripped of my dignity, handcuffed, and told by professionals I would never be a contributing member of society. I was stigmatized for my mental health, which only exasperated my depression.
I, fortunately, found the willpower to follow my inner north, and through great hardship, I regained my freedom to become a successful executive flow coach, elite athlete, and investor. Many people are not as fortunate as me. So, I am here to amplify their voices, shatter the stigma, and give everyone an equal chance at a successful career and happy life.
What is Mental Health Stigma?
People struggling with mental health are stereotyped as “dangerous, incompetent, at fault for their disorder, and unpredictable”, according to the American Psychiatric Association. I have seen these generalizations lead to employees wrongfully getting fired and qualified individuals not being hired. In addition, I have personally experienced the health care system setting a lower standard of care for mental health patients.
These stigmas are easily internalized and individuals can feel less self-esteem, reduced self-efficacy, hopelessness, and uncomfortable seeking help.
Result: “Suicide is a leading cause of death in the US.” (CDC)
You Can Make a Difference!
I am asking you to take one simple step today to reduce the stigma of mental health and help save lives.
If we all work together we can “Break the Shackles of Stigma!”
Thank you for being a part of the solution.