The Regional 1 Mental Health Recovery Conference went off with flying colors. Paul Jones “Bipolar Boy” spoke as one of the speakers, as did Lizzy Simon. If you ever have the opportunity to hear them, take it. They are very good. Bipolar Boy is very funny. He makes you think of the stigma of mental illness in a whole new way.
Breaking the stigma of mental illness starts here, with the consumer. When I think of mental illness, I think of recovery. Most think of “crazy”, “dangerous”, “looney”, and terms like that. Those are the terms we need to combat. Mental illness can lead to recovery with the right treatment plan and the right attitude. Recovery IS possible. There are people all over the country who are living proof of that.
My talk went well. It was very exciting to talk in front of about 50 people total and tell my story of recovery. I had very positive feedback. I knew it was something I had to do more of.
Saturday, I particpated in the “Out of the Darkness Community Walks” for Suicide Prevention Awareness in my community. We raised over $2200 for our first year. Not too bad for a small rural community. Next year, I hope to contribute more. The walk wasn’t that long. The weather was perfect. Lots of support from the community. Check to see about a walk in your area.