How One Organization Is Deconstructing the Stigma Around Mental Illness, One Story at a Time
// By Lisa D. Ellis //
If you’re traveling through Logan Airport in Boston anytime soon, you’ll probably be drawn to a collection of portraits, and accompanying personal stories, lining the walls between terminals. You’ll see beautiful, larger-than-life portraits of: Teens. Single men and women. Parents. Grandparents. Athletes. Lawyers. Physicians. Musicians. An author. A former soap opera star. Some have light hair, some have dark hair, others have no hair at all. They range in age from 15 to 76.
Regardless of the differences, one common thread connects them all: They all are affected by mental illness. Depression, anxiety, OCD, eating disorders, substance abuse, and trauma are some of the diagnoses the people in the portraits live with. They also have the courage to share their stories in this very public setting.
Deconstructing Stigma, One Photo at a Time
This photo installation is part of a campaign called “Deconstructing Stigma: A Change in Thought Can Lead to a Change in Life” launched in 2016 by McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts. This effort, recognized in the 2017 eHealthcare Leadership Awards, started simply but has grown and evolved in recent months, taking on a breadth and depth that the McLean staff could not have anticipated, according to Adriana Bobinchock, McLean’s senior director of public affairs and communications.
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