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Julio’s story

“I also want people who don’t understand mental illness to learn more about it, and know that it is real, not a fictional thing people create in their heads.”

What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?

Depression – mental illness.

Stigma story

While trail running in late summer of 2013, an idea popped into my head to do something to bring more awareness to mental illness issues that affect us all and break the social stigma of mental illness. The first week of May 2015, I will run from across Minnesota from west to east.

I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety for years, and it went untreated. A few years back I got tired of dealing with it, and decided to seek help. At first I didn’t even know how to do that. It has taken a good network of people, therapy, and medication to improve. Most importantly, it has been my own will and wanting to get better.

I started to educate myself on the topic of mental illnesses. I learned that mental illnesses are very treatable. It takes time and patience, but it’s worth every second. For the first time in my life I feel healthier and happier!

I still struggle with depression and anxiety. The difference between now and then is that I now have the ability to deal with it. I understand what triggers it, what gets me out of it, and how to bounce back.

I want other people with mental illness to be able to experience the preciousness of life. There is beauty all around us; let’s enjoy it! I also want people who don’t understand mental illness to learn more about it, and know that it is real, not a fictional thing people create in their heads.

One out of every four families in the United States suffer from depression in some way. So, you likely know someone, or will meet someone with mental illness. It’s important to learn what to do, what to say, how to deal with it. Let’s help break the Stigma of Mental Illness.

If you have diabetes, you may need insulin to control it. If you have a heart condition, you may need medication, etc. Mental illness should be no exception. In many cases medication can significantly help alleviate the symptoms of mental illness.

What could someone have said/done to make it ok?

It’s treatable.

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11,525 people have pledged to stop mental illness stigma.

By signing this pledge, you’re taking a stand against the mental illness stigma. Pass it on. Print it out. Tape it up. It can serve as a reminder to start more conversations and stop the labeling. Together, we can Make It OK.

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