SPEAKING OUT

IMG_2165TimProPhotographyThe stigma so often attached to mental illness can only exsist so long as we remain silent and allow myths, innuendo and misunderstanding to flourish.

One of my goals, and an important part of my healing process, is to step out of the shadows of stigma and to share my story.

This is how I tell my story:

  • Op-Eds:

Portland Press Herald, January 11, 2011

The horrific event that transpired in Tucson on Saturday has inspired more than ample discussion regarding the tone and spirit of our nation’s political discourse. Despite all the fervent commentary, there is one piece of this puzzle that remains largely glossed over, however. And this is where it gets a bit personal.  

When I was 22, I was living in Tucson and attending college part-time. Just like Jared Loughner, I was removed from school for many of the same reasons. (Read More)

  • PUBLIC SPEAKING/TESTIMONY

Testimony before the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Services; March 2, 2011

. . . What do you see when you look at me? Perhaps you see a father, a husband or a communications consultant? Maybe you know me from some of the other state policy work I have been involved with over the last several years. Perhaps you know me as a veteran; or as a former journalist and newspaper editor.

In fact, I am all of those things. But what you may not know is that I am also someone with a mental illness who requires daily medication and ongoing treatment. (Read More)

  • PRESENTATIONS

Superman & Mental Health Stigma: Served as keynote speaker at a Mental Health Stigma Forum, April 2011. This presentation focused on the myths of mental illness and the insistence of Hollywood to keep those fears alive. (See text with link to PDF version of Power-point)

  • SOCIAL MEDIA

I routinely blog and use a wide variety of social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, to share my observations, struggles and successes regarding mental illness from my perspective as a consumer of mental health services. (Selected posts here)

  • GIVING BACK

I firmly believe we all have an inherent, moral obligation to give back to the communities where we live, work and play. As part of that obligation, I have served on several non-profit boards and committees to promote community-based mental health services and enhanced public education and outreach. I have also served as a panelist in a forum designed to provide better insights for mental health service providers.

Today, I am working with several others as part of a joint venture by Maine Mental Health Partners to promote increased public awareness surrounding the issues of mental health stigma.

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