I choose to speak out about my mental illness because I have a voice and I want it to be heard. I want an opportunity to connect with others who also experience mental distress or have a mental illness. I want to speak out for those who might not have found their voice yet but need representation in society.
When I was in the inpatient unit one of the things that upset me the most is the percentage of patients who suffered from a mental illness who had very low levels of literacy. They couldn’t read and could barely write. Not only that but they never had visitors. They had no one to advocate for them. They sat, staring, waiting for support and care.
‘The Silent Citizens’.
They are silent because they are part of a health system that is massively underfunded. They are silent because they do not have the words or voice to be able to fight. They are silent because nobody has shown them the pathway of how to advocate for themselves. They are silent because they do not have loved ones who can stand up for them when they can’t.
There are people depending on us. They are waiting. Waiting for better care, more funding, greater support. They are waiting to be accepted and understood by society.
That is why we need to write, speak up, be the squeaky wheel. For all of those fellow sufferers who are depending on us to make sure that they are not forgotten. That they are no longer silent. Their stories, their voices need to be heard.
It starts with your story.
You have a gift that many don’t.