I wish I had this much passion for exercise (I’m working on that) but I definitely have passion for this topic. I feel very driven to work hard to share this message with you and, as a result of our efforts, get a response from NBC. I’ve written about the Waunakee, WI High School Dance Team debacle and NBC’s post about it here on WEGO Health and you can read other posts where bloggers like Chrisa Hickey (read this post by Chrisa that lists and links to other posts on the topic) are working hard to put a stop to the stigma, too.
People are commenting on the NBC post, You crazy! Mental Health Advocates in Uproar Over High School Dance Team’s ‘Psych Ward’ Routine, but not enough people. We need to really get the attention of the staff at NBC. We need to let them know how we feel. There’s no need to be nasty, but we can demand decency and respect for those who struggle with mental health issues. We can demand an apology.
You may wonder why I am so insistent on an apology or why I am so persistent about this issue. You may or may not know that I personally have been in an inpatient treatment center, a “psych ward”, for mental health challenges. I have seen what it is like first hand. I have experienced it twice, first hand. I wish for no one to feel the shame and sadness that can result in getting help, like I have, first hand. When wounds from our past, biology, or trauma bring us to a point where we need help, there should be no embarrassment. It should be just as easily understood when we need to see a therapist or psychologist as it is when one needs to see a physician for a physical, or a cardiologist for a heart condition, or an orthopedist for a broken bone.
Stirring up images of zombie like monsters with straight-jackets and the words “psych ward” plastered across the chest of teenage girls doesn’t do anyone any good, even worse, it saddens people, it hurts them. It creates a sense of unworthiness in those with mental health conditions and it creates a sense of shame. Saying it’s okay to do that, as the NBC blog post does, only makes matter worse.
I again ask you to share your voice, rise up and stand for those who need our representation. Please let NBC know that this is not okay by leaving a comment on their blog post. And even better, come back and let me know here that you did it. It will sure give me a warm fuzzy feeling to know how many have stood up for the end of stigma!