We are all on our own unique journeys to health and wellness, but we share one common thread: everyone needs to feel a sense of belonging and purpose to thrive. A person’s behavioral health and wellness is complex; it’s impacted by a variety of environmental and systemic factors, including genetics, systemic racism, exposure to trauma, support systems, access to health care services and other community services. These factors play a profound role in a person’s ability to be well and thrive.
The stories in this series are a small reflection of the behavioral health experiences across our city. We hope to destigmatize mental health and substance use by showing how behavioral health impacts us all. Everyone’s journey to wellness is part of the story of our city’s behavioral health and wellness.
Out of Stigma’s Shadow: Stories about mental health, mental illness, and the mysteries inside our heads was a special Stoop Storytelling event in the Baltimore area on May 21, 2019. Seven people shared true, personal tales about the challenges, the surprises, the struggles, and the triumphs, of living with mental health challenges.
Listen to Ronald Barskdale talk about stigma.
Watch Bmore POWER advocate Phaedra Ward share her inspiring story of overdose and recovery less than a year after she almost died from an opioid overdose on this playground.
"My goal is to achieve a deeper peace and meaning. I want to be able to get people smiling. If someone is walking away from a conversation with me saying, ‘I can do something,’ then I’m happy.” Latif
"I think I have a gift, for whatever reason. People young and old tend to gravitate toward me and we develop relationships very easily. I'm just happy that I'm able to be the person to set the example." Tamnika
"You have to be open-minded to the whole process of recovery. You have to know that this can work for you and you have to buy in to the available support systems. The bottom line is that support for recovery has to come from all different avenues." Cynthia