I attended a meeting today at work and the discussion on emotional suffering was brought to the forefront. This is not uncommon as I work for a local mental health center. The campaign is to Change Direction; remove the shame, guilt, and fear. Know the signs, and make a pledge to be a voice of change. I guarantee we ALL know someone who is suffering and frequently that suffering is done in silence. Imagine if people stopped whispering about the neighbor’s son who has schizophrenia or the coworker who has bipolar disorder, and simply engaged in conversation with them as you would anyone else. Changing the direction involves awareness, collaboration, and inclusion. We treat physical and mental illnesses very differently. We make accommodations for those who are physically ill so they can continue to work. Additionally we provide physical and emotional support, as well as empathy. However, the picture is quite different for those suffering emotionally. We look the other way, we tell them to get over it already, we talk about them and not to them. The conversation sometimes strays from the closet and lingers in the shadows, but the light needs to shine upon it. I cannot wrap my brain around the idea that we ALL KNOW someone suffering and yet there continues to be this huge stigma around it. Shame on us. It is time to Change Direction.
Deb Correia 6/17/2016 ©