mental health

Remembering Robin Williams, Preventing Suicide.

It has been a year since we lost Robin Williams to suicide. He was one of the greatest comedic talents of our modern age–from Good Morning Vietnam to Good Will Hunting to The Birdcage–he made us chuckle, snicker and sometimes cry. So many us feel like we knew Robin Williams. He just had that rare charisma and gentleness.

Still, he was an intensely personal and insular man. To honor his memory and bring greater awareness to Severe Depression, the illness from which I suffer, we dug up a nine-year old National Public Radio interview with Robin Williams. 

The interview is funny, frantic and fantastic!  However, I can feel the pain of Severe Depression in his tone and cadence. At thirty minutes into the interview, he discusses mental illness. I will leave up to your interpretation as to what you think of his answer to questions about mental illness. However, it's clear to me, Robin Williams suffered with Severe Depression for a long, long time.

In honor of the great Robin Williams, please post the logo of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on your FB page and other social media. 

Remember suicide is 100% preventable.

Mental Health Justice. No Stigma. No Judgment. Everyone is welcome.


How should we talk about mental health?

Banishing the stigma attached to mental health issues can go a long way to facilitating genuinely useful conversations.”

— Vikram Patel, Mental Health Advocate

I love TedTalks. The site provides people with non-political and non-ideological views on so many issues–including mental health. I was sent this TedTalks article by a friend of and I immediately knew I needed to share the wonderful insights of Ted Talks contributor, Thu-Huong Ha. 

In her piece, she asks the question, "How should we talk about mental health?" Ms. Ha then goes on to point out what we all know to be true–the great majority of people simply don't know how to talk about mental health, period.

She offers some straightforward recommendations about how society (RE: All of Us!) can change the mental health dialogue. I find all of her suggestions spot on:

  • Avoid correlations between criminality and mental illness.
  • Do correlate more between mental illness and suicide.
  • Avoid words like “crazy” or “psycho." 
  • Don’t define a person by his/her mental illnesses.
  • Separate the person from the problem.
  • Humor helps, so relax and laugh about your issues it may help solve them.
  • Sometimes the problem isn’t that we’re using the wrong words, but that we’re not talking at all.
  • If you feel comfortable talking about your own experience with mental health, by all means, do so.

The last two suggestion speak to one of the main reasons we have started the "Tell Your Story" campaign on our Mental Health Justice Facebook Page. By telling our stories, we can begin to slay the twin dragons of stigma and judgment. 

Here's my story:


If we do not stand up against the stigma attached to mental illness, it will never go away. If we do not say, "Look at the log in your eye before you judge the speck of my mental illness," people will continue to judge. was created as a place where we can all fight back against the discrimination and the misunderstanding related to mental health illness. That can only happen by telling our stories and educating people that mental illness is a disease like any other illness. 

Please join us by letting your friends and family know about our site and Facebook Page. Have them like it, share it, comment on our posts and invite all their friends. 

Mental health justice. No stigma, no judgment. Everyone is welcome. 


The LAPD: Getting It Right. We Need to Give The Mentally Ill Treatment, Not Jail Time.

I want to introduce you to Lt. Lionel Garcia. He was the lead officer of the the Los Angeles Police Department's (LAPD), Mental Evaluation Unit for seven years until he retired this last April. The unit's officers are trained by LA County Mental Health Care experts the proper intervention tactics for cases involving mental health issues.

Most often those suffering from mental health disorders will call and ask police to intervene in a situation.  And very often, that call for help results in a collision of law enforcement and the mentally ill that has been historically unfavorable, if not tragic. But with the right training, Lt. Garcia's former unit has been able keep incident arrests to 8.5%. That's remarkable and deserves our attention and praise! 

Please listen to the NPR segment on the unit and read the article. As law enforcement, across the nation (often justifiably),  receives scrutiny for their intervention tactics–it's nice to highlight a department that's getting it right.