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Living with Mental Illness or Addiction

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Linda Rosenberg

President and CEO, National Council for Behavioral Health

Living with Mental Illness or Addiction

June 21, 2013 | Uncategorized | Comments
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Ever wondered what it’s like to live with a mental illness or addiction? Is there hope? Is help available?  The Other Side ― an award-winning 5-minute film marking the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act passed by President Kennedy ― portrays what it’s like to live in the grip of mental illnesses and addictions and how treatments and supports provided in the community make recovery possible — all from the stories of people who’ve inspired me over the years.

  • Dr. Clayton Chau came to America as a refugee from Vietnam, suffered abuse as a child and has lived with depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
  • Larry Fricks lives with bipolar disorder and an addiction.
  • Kevin Hines was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and severe depression at age 17 and is one of only 32 people to survive a Golden Gate Bridge jump.
  • Cheryl Sharp has experienced depression since adolescence and survived 9 suicide attempts.
  • Brandon Staglin had a psychotic break in his freshman year of college and was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • Katherine Switz battled severe bipolar disorder while in a demanding program at Harvard Business School.
  • Sharon Wise, a victim of severe childhood trauma, has struggled with bipolar disorder, depression, schizoaffective disorder, and drug abuse.

Today, every one of these individuals has overcome their illnesses to live productive, fulfilling lives in their communities. What made the difference? Watch our short film, The Other Side, to find out. The film — which marks the 50th anniversary of the Community Mental Health Act passed by President Kennedy ― portrays what it’s like to live in the grip of mental illnesses and addictions and how treatments and supports provided in the community make recovery possible.

The film also features Patrick J. Kennedy — who sustains the Kennedy family legacy of championing behavioral health — on his personal struggles and recovery journey.

We hope you’ll share our film to spread the message that there is hope for all those living with mental illness or addiction. That recovery is real. And that community makes a difference.

 

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