From coast to coast, nor far from your backyard, there are free tools for those struggling with mental illness. Reach out today, it coul ...
Since graduating from Huntsville High School in 1998, we have painfully witnessed classmates battle mental illness. This resource website is dedicated to the memory of all we have lost to these diseases and disorders of the brain. We aim to raise awareness, start a community conversation and provide a starting point for those feeling lost or alone.
Far too many of our peers have made a fatal decision - overwhelmed with such hopelessness and no seeming escape in which death appeared to be the only option. We refuse to remain silent while continuing to read their obituaries. Whether near or far from our roots, our class is united in asking our hometown, the Huntsville-Walker County area, to help us raise awareness and highlight resources across our beloved community. Let us empower ourselves and others to not fear but speak up about these realities and reach out for help. Let our community become an open forum for meaningful, honest dialogue and real solutions to combat the stigma of mental illness and needless death in order to preserve life. We are starting here, and hope you will join us.
--Jenny Goerdel Carrara and Vincent Ordaz
Presidents, Huntsville High School Class of 1998
The first obstacle is the stigma, the stigma that often surrounds mental illness — a stigma caused by a history of misunderstanding, fear, and embarrassment.
Stigma leads to isolation, and discourages people from seeking the treatment they need. Political leaders, health care professionals, and all Americans must understand and send this message: mental disability is not a scandal — it is an illness. And like physical illness, it is treatable, especially when the treatment comes early.
The brain is a body part too; we just know less about it. And there should be no shame in discussing or seeking help for treatable illnesses that affect too many people that we love. We’ve got to get rid of that embarrassment; we’ve got to get rid of that stigma. Too many Americans who struggle with mental health illnesses are still suffering in silence rather than seeking help, and we need to see it that men and women who would never hesitate to go see a doctor if they had a broken arm or came down with the flu, that they have that same attitude when it comes to their mental health.