Carlos Larrauri, the young man who lives with schizophrenia featured in Fred Grimm’s June 1 column, Denial can be deadly for the mentally ill, deserves to be saluted. It takes a lot of courage to discuss one’s mental illness publicly. It’s even harder to do as a young person. Yet his speaking out about his own experience might save the life of another young person who has been given a similar diagnosis, but who feels fear, shame and confusion about seeking treatment.
I know Carlos. He is an engaging, intelligent and compassionate person. He shatters all the stereotypes about mental illness that we see in the media, as do so many other people I’ve met who live with serious mental illnesses. It’s important that we see examples of people who have learned how to manage the symptoms of their condition. They give others hope. They can also demonstrate what works in terms of treatment and community support. It’s time to bring mental illness and mental-health treatment out of the darkness.
Amy McClellan, Miami