Remember the days when there was a closet that gay and lesbian people had to live in? When transgender was a distinctly weird and not acceptable concept? When bisexuality was the worst of all worlds?
That was not that long ago. Young beautiful men died by the tens of thousands in the '80's, as AIDS -- the closet "gay disease" stole our friends, colleagues, and children: 448,060 of these had died between 1980 and 2000 (CDC).
Does it take a fatal illness that impacts a huge swath of the population to bring the misunderstood and victimized out of the closet? In that case, the closeted mentally ill are way behind. In that same time period, 1980-2000, ther
e were 600,000 known suicide deaths, 18% of whom are children.
The biggest trend in the mental health field today is the growing advocacy effort to shine the light on mental illness, not only as a public health issue, but also as a civil rights issue. Click on picture to see Sarah Silverman talking about depression with Ellen Degeneris.
At Stillwater, we cherish the opportunity we have to love and respect our patients, to see them for who they are, their courage, their loneliness, their struggle.