“Everyone knows someone who suffers from brain illness, though it is rarely discussed.”
This is one of three indisputable facts that guide our vision to create a system of care in which brain illness is addressed with the same urgency and sweep as physical illness. It reminds us that, unless we start having serious and caring discussions within our communities about the importance of mental health, people struggling will continue to suffer alone. This is especially true in communities where cultural stigma becomes a barrier to getting care.
Today we are thrilled to announce our newest storytelling campaign that aims to take on this challenge by sparking conversations about the influence of culture on mental health. My Mental Health Journey is a series of first-person stories told by individuals whose culture influenced their understanding of mental health, how they treat their mental health and influenced whether they sought support.
Our first story, Finding Identity comes from college student Crystal Lopez-Franco, whose childhood struggle with finding a sense of cultural identity impacted her ability to take care of her mental health.
Crystal shares her powerful story on our California State of Mind Blog.
We hope that giving voice to people with diverse experiences inspires a better understanding of the barriers that exist to mental health care in our state. Working together, through compassionate action, we can create a culture that treats mental health as one of the many facets of overall health.
If you or anyone you know would like to share their story with us please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for more My Mental Health Journey stories to come.