My own brother, last time he went in the hospital when he was in a psychotic episode, he told me actually that he was on crack… It turns out he did not want to tell me that he has schizophrenia. He’d rather tell me that he was on crack. It was just more readily acceptable than to be termed someone that is mentally ill, or as some people still try to say, crazy or insane.
There’s no other illness that you would have to be desperate before you get help. This is the only illness that’s like that. So let’s get the stigma out of the way, let people know. We’re people and not an illness.
This illness sometimes can really devastate a family. And they find that, “I can separate my loved one’s illness from that person.” It’s an illness. It is not that person. It’s just like a heart attack. Someone has heart attack, they are not a heart attack, you’re not mentally ill, you have an illness.
There’s been a separation from the faith community and medical community on this issue of mental illness. And what we want to do today is to bring it forth, let us open up and talk. They’re going to get enough information to understand the illnesses, and then we’re going to open it up for discussion and talk about some of the doctrines that the community religious community has and try to understand that we don’t accept this truly as illness, whereas we’ve accepted other illnesses. Let’s put it in the right category, let’s identify what it is and let the religious community know that they too can turn to us, their pastors.