You Are Your Own Best Champion – Let’s Do This!

Earlier this week, I wrote a piece for Sojourner’s expressing my belief that the mental health community needs someone to step forward and champion the cause of de-stigmatizing mental health issues.

Since the piece was published, I have had several people contact me to tell their stories of living with mental illness, or stories of their loved ones who live with mental illness. For some, it was the first time they had ever shared their experience, but they came forward because they finally felt they had a safe space in which to speak.

The number of people who contacted me perhaps should not be surprising: after all, 26% of the population suffers from mental illness. What is more surprising is the isolation people expressed feeling, as well as their strong desire to have their voices heard.

If you have your own story of mental illness to share, and would like to have it posted here, please submit your posts to happyhanauers@gmail.com.

My goal is two-fold: 1) to provide a forum and safe space for true stories of mental illness, and 2) to decrease the stigma surrounding mental illness, especially within faith communities. To that end, I would love to share stories that demonstrate people who suffer from mental illness—even those at the high end of the spectrum—can indeed have happy, fulfilling, “normal” lives, provided they receive the proper treatment and support. I would also love to hear how your faith community has or has not helped you through your illness.

I can’t wait to hear your story!

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