Sunday, January 10, 2016

You Can't Do Disability Rights Without Mental Health Advocacy

Many disabled people's disabilities are mental health needs, or have MH needs comorbidly with their disability. For instance, UNICEF reported that “one chronic physical health condition... significantly increases the likelihood of another physical health condition and mental health conditions.” The lines blur.

I cannot be invisible. I went public about my hospitalization and the fury I felt at Obama and Tim Murphy's scapegoating. It is my hope that there will be one day a world where people can share their stories without stigma, without shame, without fear, without the police mocking the person they had brought into the ER in a MH crisis. It will not be easy. I shared my story because I want there to be a safer world for this, regardless of my personal reputation. With so much stigma, it is hard for other people to share theirs.

Our treatment is supposed to be invisible, our suffering silent, our hospitalizations a secret, shameful and hidden. Many dislike it or feel uncomfortable when we talk out loud about our lived experiences and our suffering and our treatment. When we are visibly having MH needs or in distress, when we are loud about our experiences, we upset people. The disabled community that professes to be proud of different bodies and minds does those of us with mental health needs a disservice.

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