by Terri Byrne, SOLVE Program Coordinator
“My cousin is different and no one in my family talks about it. After I saw the SOLVE presentation (Sharing Our Lives, Voices, and Experience), I realized that my cousin probably has a mental health condition. In my culture, we don’t talk about it. I want to talk about it. I want to help him!”
This is a quote from a S.F. high school student after a SOLVE presentation. This student identified themselves as part of the Asian community.
Stigma and discrimination are interacting aspects that are common in all walks of life. While stigma refers to the attitudes and perceptions, discrimination relates to the action and the behavior directly connected to those perceptions. (see: MENTAL HEALTH: CULTURE, RACE, AND ETHNICITY A SUPPLEMENT TO MENTAL HEALTH: A REPORT OF THE SURGEON GENERAL http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK44243/pdf/TOC.pdf )
SOLVE peer educators are knocking down the barriers of stigma and discrimination that have held people with mental health challenges and their families hostage for years. By talking openly about the struggles they have experienced and overcome, our peer educators give hope to our community and promote the message that recovery is REAL!