MENTAL ILLNESS: AN UNWANTED LABEL
It’s something most people don’t think twice about, what it feels like to be labeled as mentally ill.
The Hope Center focuses on mental wellness, rather than mental illness—through a healthy living plan.
It’s helped one individual do the things she was told she would never be able to do.
“I was told i would never get a job, I was told I would never go to school, and i would never be married,” Kellie Jack said. “And today I am all of those things.”
She’s also a peer specialist at The Hope Center and helps people in the community focus on mental wellness, rather than illness.
“A lot of the people that come here, come from being institutionalized and only see themselves as a diagnosis for a very long time,” Jack said.
Painting, quilt making and gardening are classes that are offered to help teach creativity and promote a healthy lifestyle.
“The goal is for people to find wellness in their daily activity learning to help them create wellness plan, and a wellness recovery action plan,” Jack said.
Karen Diers, Health Education Specialist breaks the stigma through a yearly poster contest called “reframe your brain,” that happens during mental health month in May.
“Mental health is a part of everyone's overall wellness,” Diers said. “Physical health affects mental health, and mental health affects physical health.”
Diers promotes the idea that recovery happens through wellness and relationships.
“Stigma, you know being feared or rejected based on experiencing a challenge, is more debilitating than that challenge,” Diers said.
A documentary called “Voices That Heal” will be shown on Nov. 13 at
the Mateel Community Center in Redway and is free to the public.
The documentary features six individuals who experience being labeled as mentally ill and sheds light on the stigma.