Column: When parents speak out about children’s mental health, stigma is removed, healing can begin

It was 67 years ago in May that Mental Health Awareness Month was first observed to bring the topic of mental illness out of the shadows of our homes and into a public forum to be discussed openly without shame.

Although Americans have come a long way in how we view and engage in dialogue about living with mental illness, we still have a lot of work to do.

As the father of a man who has lived nearly 20 years with schizoaffective disorder, a condition with symptoms such as hallucinations, delusions, mania and depression, life isn’t always easy. It was nearly two decades ago when our son was forced to drop out of college in his sophomore year after he suddenly began hearing voices. His initial misdiagnosis as bipolar set him and us on a years-long odyssey of psychoses, hospitalizations and intermittent periods of stability before he would crash again.

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