If your child has chicken pox, or mono or even Lyme Disease, you get lots of offers of help and support. But be upfront and honest that they’re struggling with mental illness, and often all you hear are crickets. No one talks about it. So when Radio Disney decided to play Ghost Story, a song about mental illness and the hope for recovery as well, it took a HUGE leap to help end the stigma. Its a very powerful song, and an even more powerful video.
As a a Mom of a teen with mental illness, I was so excited to hear that Radio Disney was going to play Ghost Story. The whole Disney franchise is so influential to the young people of today, and if THEY embrace supporting people with mental illness, that will trickle down to their viewers. When my teenage daughter was dealing with anxiety and depression due to extreme bullying, she felt so alone. NO ONE was talking about mental illness and no one was saying that it was okay. That’s one of the reasons she’s so open about talking about her Mental Illness. She wants to help other kids know that bullying and the chains of mental illness aren’t forever, things WILL get better. For her, they certainly have. She shares her message to Be Brave.
When she had a chance to work with some other very brave teens with Whitney for the Ghost Story video, she said it was so freeing to be with other kids who got where she was coming from and UNDERSTOOD her. There was no judgement with them, just the the sense of being with someone who has fought and won the same battle that you have.
I can tell you that sitting with the other parents while we waited for our kids was pure magic to me. We were all survivors, and we bonded over it. We sat together and talked, and cried, and said so many times, “YES! ME TOO!” We still talk, today.
Being a kid with mental illness is lonely.
Being the parent of a kid with mental illness is lonely, too.
The only ONLY way to fix it it to end the stigma of mental illness. To end the stigma, we must TALK about mental illness the same way we talk about other illnesses. When Ally had Lyme Disease, people were everywhere wanting to help and wanting to come to the hospital to wait with me as she had tests. However, when she was at her lowest, and I was open about it, I was alone. I sat alone in the waiting room of the psychiatric unit of the hospital, sobbing, wishing so badly for someone, anyone to come give me a hug and tell me it’s okay. No one did. Why?
Mental Illness isn’t contagious. It’s not a weakness of character, and it’s not a parenting failure, its an ILLNESS.
People aren’t ashamed of kids with a heart condition, multiple sclerosis, or cancer. They’re all deadly diseases that need to be treated to keep the child alive. SO IS MENTAL ILLNESS.
That is why I am so thankful to Radio Disney for taking the first step and playing Ghost Story. Hopefully, their airing of Ghost Story will highlight something positive about mental illness will start a wave of influencers who want to help end the stigma.