Monday, February 07, 2005

My final HOORAH

I've begun working on my final HOORAH before I die. Not sure what possessed me to do this, or if anyone in the world besides myself is even willing to participate, but I started putting together my own website yesterday. Thankfully my computer came with a program for designing them or this project never would have materialized. I've got the basic layout done, just need to add the text and graphics. Also need to register my own domain name, which I'm hoping is really available. I checked and there were no other websites out there with that name already, but I know that doesn't necessarily mean it's available. Someone could have snatched it up already with plans to use it in the future. Holy crap, I may just have my own .com address soon!

The premise is simple...I just want to put a face on mental illness in hopes of helping to breakdown the stigma, discrimination and bigotries associated with it. I don't think most people realize that they probably come in contact with someone living with mental illness regularly, if not every day. I'm hoping my site will help show them that we're not all the stereotypical "crazy" person that's a danger to society. We're just normal, everyday people that happen to be sick.

I'll have people send me photographs of themselves, or loved ones that have been lost to mental illness. Then I'll post the photos, along with at least a minimum of information like location, what disorder(s) they have and what they do (or have done if disabled) for a living. If they want, they can certainly go into more detail and tell their story of what it's like living with such an illness. There will also be links to other mental health related websites and basic facts regarding mental illness like statistics on how prevalent it is and a description of the illnesses & their symptoms.

I've started to put together a list of other websites I'll ask if they'll add a link to my site onto, and where to look for people that may be willing to add their photos so that I don't get this site up & running with only my own on it...though I have no problem with doing that. I can make up flyers and drop them off at the hospitals and mental health centers. I've got nothing but time right now.

Like I said, I have no idea if anyone else is even willing to join in. I'm only stepping forward to put my face out there in hopes of helping someone else. I currently have an "I don't give a shit" attitude towards letting people know I'm a nutcase, so it's not going to bother me. But I know many people will have reservations about doing it for fear of backlash from people like employers. Unfortunately, until we're willing to say hey, I'm sick and I refuse to be ashamed of it, the stigma will remain.

Leave it to me to make my last HOORAH a biggie. Setting myself up for failure again I guess. Least with this one, someone can take over once I'm gone and see that it gets done.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm game. Let me know what you want/need and where to send it. Everyone already knows I'm a nutjob!!

1:23 PM, February 08, 2005  

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