Why The Skeptic Community Must Concern Itself With Mental Illness

Here’s my talk from Skepticon IV.

If you agree, please help get the ball rolling.  If you’re a blogger who lives with a mental disorder, write about it.  If you don’t, learn something new about mental illnesses and write a post about what you learned or dispel a myth or share how knowing someone with a mental illness has affected your life and ways you’ve learned to help.  Write a facebook status if you’re not a blogger.  The adoption of this issue by the skeptic community will change the world.  It will save lives.

If you write a blog, send it to me.  I’ll link the best ones here and cross-post the very best.  If there’s anything that became apparent to me during Skepticon weekend, it was after this talk when a bunch of us turned into a huggy, teary mess for about an hour: we give strength to each other.  It is empowering to know there are others out there who not only won’t judge us, but who are like us themselves.

If you want to share about a condition you have anonymously, my email address is on the right side of this blog (in the bio section).  Send it along.

I was always proud to be a part of this movement.  When I went public with my illness I was afraid of rejection and judgment.  But this community showed me it was better than the portions of society who stigmatize mental illness, and it accepted and took care of me, and in so doing endeared this movement to me even more.  This movement will take care of you.  And, if I know anything about this movement, I know that the people in it will take care of you.  We are perfectly capable of forging a future where misinformation about mental illness no longer strangles its victims.

I love you guys.  Thank you for all you’ve given me and thank you for sharing this around the interwebs and personally making the necessary changes happen.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.