Your Life. Your Story. You Make a Difference.
About Start Your Story
Coming to grips with the onset of a mental or emotional disorder is tough enough. But on top of that burden, our society piles a millstone of shame. Our culture continues to treat mental illness as a character flaw rather than a condition. The result? Some people internalize stigma and avoid seeking treatment. Others face outright discrimination that locks them out of fulfilling jobs, safe housing and close relationships
It's time to put an end to stigma. And here's how we can do it: by telling our stories. Research shows that sharing our stories of struggle and triumph is the one proven way to knock down the walls of silence and discrimination that surround mental illness. Why? Because stories help others put themselves in our shoes and finally understand who we are: regular people, just like everyone else.
Start Your Story is a tool you can use to stop self-stigma by telling your story in a way that highlights your strengths and resilience. Or, if you choose, it can help you write a public story or prepare a speech so you can tackle stigma head on.
Start Your Story is based on the work of Patrick Corrigan, one of the nation's leading stigma researchers. Patrick serves as an investigator for the National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment, is a distinguished professor of psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and has written 10 books. Start Your Story is based on tools he developed with co-author Robert Lundin in their book, Don't Call Me Nuts.
Start Your Story is a service of Wraparound Orange, which provides mental health services to children and their families in Orange County, Florida. Wraparound Orange is sponsored by Orange County Government and funded by a grant from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Visit WraparoundOrange.net to learn more.