Let’s talk about the question I get quite often, via reader e-mails, keynote Q & A, or sometimes in the form of a critical tweet or two accusing me of “exploiting” my son Ben by being open about out family’s experience with his illness: schizophrenia.
Am I “Exploiting” my Son by Sharing Our Family Experience with Mental Illness?
First of all, Ben has given me permission to share our story, as long as I changed his first name, relay any messages he asks me to, but respect his privacy by not using adult photos or expecting him to go on the speaking circuit with me. These things, I have gladly done.
While not willing to talk about schizophrenia (or even, frankly, agree that the diagnosis is correct), Ben does realize that by speaking (from my point of view as parent), we may be helping other families to cope, understand, and sometimes come back together. So this is something we have done, together, each in our own way.
Why be open about mental illness?
To reduce stigma by increasing understanding.
This video, produced for the “Stand Up for Mental Health” campaign at Healthy Place, explains how “through stories, we get the human face of any condition” and “fight for:
- Advocacy, and
Please share, and check out the other videos there, if you know someone who may need to feel less alone.