"Out with Stigma, in with Awareness!"

The Bishop Carroll High School Wellness Committee started conversation about mental health by asking asking their peers to finish the sentence, “There’s more to me than…”

The Bishop Carroll Wellness Committee is striving to start conversation about mental health in their school by encouraging their peers and teachers to speak out about their own experiences.

As part of their efforts, the committee produced There’s more to me than… – a video that looks beyond stereotypes and labels, showcasing the true individuals behind them.

“One large aspect of stigma is the idea that if you have a problem, that problem defines you. That only makes the problem more difficult to deal with,” explains Julia Caddy, a member of the committee.

Having opened up about her her own mental health struggles, Caddy is passionate about inspiring conversation around mental health and mental illness.

“What if we could talk about mental health as freely as we talk about the weather, getting a cold, or weekend plans?” she explains. “Mental illness and mental health in general is hard enough to deal with. Having to deal with it in silence and all alone? That sure doesn’t help.”

According to Caddy, this video project was like “opening the gate to future advocacy projects.”

“The school year has barley begun, and we already have plans!” she exclaims.

In October, the committee will be sharing their message at the Healthy Active School Symposiaas well as plans to host a mental health symposium within their own school.

“This year we really want to focus on getting individuals to speak up and reinforce [the idea] that mental illness needn’t be associated with shame and silence,” explains Caddy. “Out with stigma, in with awareness!”

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