“We are mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this anymore! Please join us as we educate souls everywhere to stomp the stigma of mental illness.”
The above quote is from Joe Pantoliano, Founder and President, No Kidding, Me Too.! Go ahead and look up “No Kidding, Me Too!” on line. This is just one of many organizations devoted to addressing mental disorders. Its founder, Joe Pantoliano, is an actor who’s appeared in many popular movies and TV productions–The Fugitive and The Soprano’s, to name tow. Do you know how many organizations there are that offer help for people with brain dis-eases? There are many–and still, suicide is the twelfth leading cause of death in the United States. I am a fan of Pantoliano because as an actor he is visible, and he’s enlisted the help of many other very visible actors. He is working hard not just to empower himself but to communicate the message of empowerment for the mentally challenged.
On his website, Joe Pantoliano states:
“There is an oft-quoted statistic that for every person who is diagnosed with mental illness, eleven loved ones are affected. The immediate short-term result is that the mentally ill person becomes isolated from the outside world because that are deemed unable to “handle” it. And isolation breeds isolation which creates the stigma and discrimination we need to eliminate. The brain is an organ–just like the heart, liver, and kidneys.–and we need to encourage everyone to treat it as such from both a medical and social perspective.”
“So we will do what we do best–communicate–in the best way we know how–through humor and direct dialogue–the message that we need to remove the stigma and reap the benefits of a fully integrated society. The message of No Kidding, Me Too! is empowerment–empowering those with mental illness to admit their illness, seek treatment, become even greater contributing members of society and obliterate this stigma.”
Here are a few other places that offer help:
American Psychiatric Association, Arlington, VA–firstname.lastname@example.org
American Psychological Association, Washington, DC, 1-800-374-2721–email@example.com
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), Chicago, IL 1-800-826-3632 –firstname.lastname@example.org
Depression and Related Affective Disorders Association (DRADA), Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Baltimore, MD 410-955-4647–www.med.jhu.edu/drada
Mental Health America, Alexandraia, VA 1-800-433-5959, 1-800-273-TALK–Emergency Help Line/Suicide Hot line –www.nmha.org
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI), Arlington, VA, MAMI Hotline – 1-800-950-6264 — email@example.com
National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, MD 20557 –www.nih.gov
No Kidding, Me Too! – http://www.nkm2.org
Treatment Advocacy Center (TAC), Arlington, VA
Still another organization that offers help is the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. This weekend I will be joining with hundreds of people to walk sixteen to eighteen miles as a participant in their Out of the Darkness Overnight Walk to benefit the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.