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Sticks, stones and stigma

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. This poem is wrong. I have never broken a bone in my life, but words have cut, trampled, and drilled through my heart. All the pain inflicted on one person can tear them apart. I should know. I have been in pieces since preschool.”

This was written by my grand daughter when she was eleven and writing about how it is to be living with a brain disorder and ostracized as being weird by her peers. Fortunately, she is doing very well now at fourteen, has lots of friends and is a star goal keeper for her high school soccer team. Still, it was a long haul and I have kept this piece she wrote to help remind me how important it is to work continuously to fight name calling and the stigma of mental illness. As a retired mental health professional, I have found the National Alliance on Mental Illness to be a great way for me to continue being an advocate on our Colorado Public Policy Committee. We need all the help we can get so please consider becoming active in NAMI.

NAMI Colorado is dedicated to building better lives for the 250,000 plus Coloradoans and their families who are affected by any number of mental illnesses – schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, panic disorder and others.
We do this by providing:

— free educational classes about mental illness to the community;
— providing support groups for those with mental illness and their families;
— through political advocacy for all concerned;
— and through our volunteer support and donations.
NAMI’s national website is www.nami.org

NAMI Colorado’s website is www.namicolorado.org

Phoebe Norton