From one of my former students:
Hi Judy, I really appreciate your work with people with mental illness. My mother and brother both suffered from/ with severe depression and psychosis and ultimately, very sadly, ended up committing suicide. Thankfully I am healthy, but I know the extreme feelings of powerlessness and desperation that go with trying to help somebody who struggles with these problems.
Mental illness is more common than many people realize. And the work/writing you do makes it more human and less scary. Our culture needs to do a lot more to not demonize mental illness. There are so many terrible images on TV and in the movies! It is very important to treat people with mental illness as what they are, PEOPLE. Meeting once a week with folks is very important work in this direction.
Don’t worry about me, I have done and am doing a lot of grief work around their deaths and am in a pretty good place with it all.
Please check out my Freestyle Volunteer project at How I started Freestyle Volunteering, tabbed above. (As a Freestyle Volunteer I meet with individuals sharing our public spaces who are socially isolated by mental illness or homelessness at a cafe, one hour a week, for coffee and conversation.)