When I found myself all alone, with no direction and no idea where to start, I promised myself no other parent would have to go through the same ordeal. The frustration and fear felt during my daughter's hospital stay can not be explained or comprehended unless you've gone through it. Because of this I started a campaign - #StopTheStigma. Ironically I faced that stigma among my own family- they didn't want me to share this part of our history. Sadly, with each day that goes by I realize this is not only my family history, nor is the view only my family's. I realize the stigma of mental illness is true in all cultures, but it's almost a visible wall in the Latino community. Conversations come to a halt, and if continued they are in whispers. What's up with that?? We can not heal or accept if we don't acknowledge. For me, that's the message and hope behind the campaign - to be the catalyst for education and compassion.
The past month has been a whirlwind series of posts, events, discussions, webinars, and even a radio show to bring attention to the campaign and its' mission. The final goal is to have events all through the nation during July, "National Minority Mental Illness Awareness Month" and to create a centralized website sharing these events as well as having a place where anyone seeking help can find organizations ready to help. But first things first. On November 9 I will join in the NAMI Broward walkathon. NAMI is the group that helped me get through my initial questions, and I can think of no better way to return their kindness and goodwill. If you could join my team- NUNCA ALONE, with donations and/or walking with us it would be most appreciated and acknowledged if you'd like me to do so.
Hopefully #StopTheStigma will open lines of communication. Will it work? I think so. Thankfully it has in my family; this past week my daughter posted words of encouragement on the team page.
10/21/2013 Radio Capicu Broadcast about #StopTheStigma and the topic of Mental Illness in the Latino Community- Replay