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Letter: It’s important to remove stigma of mental illness

It’s important to remove stigma of mental illness

Telling someone that you have a mental illness can be much more difficult than telling someone that you have a serious physical illness. Why? Because for too long mental illness has been considered a taboo subject.

To help change this, the Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition has recently launched a long-range campaign to start a conversation about the stigma associated with mental illness. Fifteen local organizations came together with one goal in mind – to stop the stigma of mental illness so more people can come to terms with their illness and seek the help they need.

According to the National Association of the Mentally Ill, one in five persons will experience mental illness in their lifetimes. A website has been set up – – to provide real-life stories, identify myths versus facts, provide resources, among other helpful information; and to get our community talking about mental illness. Please visit the site and consider taking the pledge posted to help stop stigma in Erie County.

Generous funding for this campaign is being provided by Erie County, the Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation and the Patrick P. Lee Foundation. Let’s start a conversation about mental illness because silence is hurtful to the individuals and their families. Lives depend on how our community talks about mental illness. Join the conversation.

Max Donatelli

Chairman, Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition

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