How to Help: Advocate
How to Help: Advocate
Have you or a loved one been helped by Rogers? Share your story.
Header photo: After her husband lost his battle with alcoholism and depression, Kelly attended a Foundation event and was inspired by a guest speaker sharing her story. Today, Kelly actively speaks up on behalf of mental health and raises funds for the Foundation.
Thoughtful sharing of how mental illness has impacted your life can have an empowering effect on others, while helping to break down public stigma. Rogers Foundation offers opportunities for you to share your experience with others—write a letter, speak at small Foundation gatherings, or present your experience at one of our larger fundraising and awareness events.
We have a special name for those who wish to share their story with us: Rogers Champions. It is because of people like you who are championing the way for others to get the help they need. Want to be a Rogers Champion? Share your story in our online form or contact us now.
Karen, a passionate advocate for mental healthcare, shares her story as a mother raising a child facing OCD and Tourette’s Syndrome at a Foundation Women’s Gathering event. Her son Daniel received treatment at Rogers.
Research shows that the most effective way to reduce stigma is to know someone with a lived experience of mental health challenges. Knowing someone with a lived experience is two to three times as effective as educational programs in terms of changing attitudes. Help us spread the word that mental illness is real and it’s treatable. Here are six ways you can help end the stigma of mental illness:
1. Seek out people with lived experience and listen to their story
2. Reinforce and support stories of resilience and recovery
3. Wear lime green to create curiosity, and be prepared to speak up
4. Consider a story you can tell about recovery
5. Share others’ stories (Visit our video library for stories of recovery)
6. Bring the conversation into your communities: work, civic, faith, schools
Whether you choose to talk about your mental illness is a personal decision that should be carefully considered. It should, first and foremost, support your healing and recovery. While many reach a point in their recovery when they have a strong desire to stop keeping their mental illness a secret and/or assist others by sharing what they have learned, it is always important to consider any consequences of sharing your story. For some, the benefits outweigh the potential risks and they decide to talk about their mental illness with their family, their friends, at their workplace and/or other settings. Some choose to participate in opportunities to tell their story publicly to further the mission of reducing stigma.
Learn more about talking about mental illness and download the Up to Me workbook to help you make your own disclosure decision.
Learn more about mental health and addiction challenges and the work of Rogers Behavioral Health Foundation on our YouTube channel.