Temple Grandin, who was born in 1947, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Grandin’s parents were told she should be institutionalized for life. Thank goodness they didn’t listen!
Grandin ultimately went on to earn a PhD in animal science from the University of Illinois in 1989 and became a prominent author and speaker on autism and animal behavior.
Every May since 1949, Mental Health Awareness Month (or Mental Health Month) has been recognized in the United States. The purpose of Mental Health Month is to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental illness by raising awareness of mental health conditions and those who have them.
We have a long way to free ourselves from the stigma of mental health--so that the lives, gifts and contributions of those who experience mental illness are honored. Awareness is a good first step.
Conscious community, caring and commitment are three ways we can take the necessary steps to ensure all people are loved and respected. Let us walk the path together in the direction of kindness and inclusion. As the late Senator Paul Wellstone used to say, “We all do better when we all do better.”