I believe everyone should feel confident enough to be open about their own mental illness if they suffer from such. There is no reason to carry shame and there is no reason to fear stigma, ignorance and prejudice. I've come to realize honesty silences stigma. And so, I live by the words of Mahatma Gandhi and live honestly with an illness that I once hid from even people as close as my friends. I fight stigma, by having a conversation. And I'm right in this one! Be right too! Silence stigma by being honest, and by stating what is right and what is true. Your voice is louder than you think! And stigma is nothing more than a silent debate, in a conversation where prejudice is crazy and surviving a lifelong battle is nothing short of courageous and inspiring. I hate being called crazy, because I am not. I love being called inspiring because that's all I've ever wanted to be. And mental illness or not, right now I love myself and I am proud of simply me. When you look into you, be proud too. When you really look into you, you will love what you see. When you do, let others see it too!

 

Speaking to grade 11's about suicide and mental stability.