Deconstructing Stigma: Tell Your Story

Maine: We need your help to change attitudes about mental health!

McLean Hospital is expanding its award-winning mental health public awareness campaign, Deconstructing Stigma: Changing Attitudes About Mental Health in Maine. Through this effort, we hope to bring a message of resilience, hope, and education to people throughout the state, across the country, and around the world.

What Is Mental Health Stigma?

It is not uncommon for people to feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, and anxious at some point in their lives. All too often, people do not seek help for these common and highly treatable symptoms because they are fearful of being judged by friends, family, or health care providers. Some may even feel that by seeking help, they are weak or “crazy.” That is the negative power of stigma. Stigma prevents people from getting the help they need.

What Is Deconstructing Stigma?

Deconstructing Stigma: Changing Attitudes About Mental Health is a series of larger-than-life photographs and interviews with people from across the United States and around the globe who have been affected by mental illness. Its initial physical installation opened in December 2016 at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Our installations, the website, and the companion book serve to capture the complexity of living with a psychiatric disorder, seeking treatment, navigating insurance and health care systems, and facing stigma.

Told through the eyes of its participants, the campaign boldly tears down the misconceptions of what those with mental illness look like. The volunteers in this project are more than just statistics or nameless faces. They are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, lawyers, doctors, engineers, musicians, and more. Each one has been affected by mental illness, and each one has also faced stigma.

How Can You Help?

Volunteer your story and be part of changing perceptions!

If you live with a mental health condition, including substance use, depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, we want to hear from you! We are looking for individuals or families of all ages to be photographed and have their story shared publicly. Let’s work together to show others in your community that they are not struggling alone.

Join Us in Deconstructing Stigma