COMMUNITY VOICES | Beyond awareness: Mental Illness Empathy Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a good time to look back on what two great writers have said about their experiences with mental illness. These accounts remind us that even though we’ve made great progress with diagnosis and treatment, we are a long way from fully understanding the darkest corners of the human psyche.Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of William Styron’s groundbreaking national bestseller, Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness. Styron, best known for The Confessions of Nat Turner and Sophie’s Choice, has been haled by many as the first writer to truly capture the “full terror of depression’s psychic landscape.” Darkness Visible illuminated the torment of depression and the taboos of suicide, but whether it increased awareness and decreased stigmatization as much as was hoped and predicted is hard to say. Continue Reading