Have you ever judged someone for being depressed? Have you ever thought a person with substance abuse disorder should just stop it and get on with their life? Have you ever thought a person who overdoses should not be saved? All of these thoughts and judgements contribute to the continued stigma we have in this country about mental health and addiction. This stigma not only causes shame and hurt, but can lead to delay in seeking help.
My name is Jenny. My beautiful sister Brittany lost her life and her battle with bipolar disorder and addiction at the young age of 27. Regardless of her outward and inward beauty, she never felt good enough because of her struggles.
This is an epidemic. The more we ignore and judge, the more it will continue. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I hope you reevaluate your beliefs. These are diseases as real as cancer and heart disease, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
My hope is that through this foundation, we can help individuals have the peace of mind knowing that they have financial support to get their animals the care they need, while they are getting the treatment they so desperately need.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.