We know that literally MILLIONS – in the U.S. alone – are suffering from one or both of these illnesses and a huge population of those millions do not seek help because of overwhelming shame. These are our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, children, coworkers, friends and spouses. These are people we love. Very few of us have not been affected. It is the few that can say they have not seen the damage done by untreated mental illness or addiction.
Mental health and addiction are illnesses just like any other, and as such, they can be treated and healthy lives can be led. But first, we must work to eliminate the shame and judgment associated with each. We must open the curtains, dispel the myths, erase the stigmas and provide a safe environment for open and honest communication, high-quality treatment services, and most of all compassion.
TWH recently launched our #xthestigma campaign, aimed at shedding light on and reducing the shame of addiction and mental illness.