Stop Mental Health Stigma Together: My Debrief

Recently I participated in an invite-only Grand Challenge Summit at Utah’s Snowbird Resort that gathered over 175 representatives from over 100 organizations. I am so very grateful to be included in the incredibly valuable event, where I got to connect with numerous like-minded people desiring to resolve the mental health crisis; and I had a few opportunities to share my thoughts with the entire group in attendance. I represented 3 things: Asian Mental Health Collective and Asian American Christian Collaborative; and I mentioned my Erasing Shame podcast on several occasions too.

Now for this first debrief, I’ll share some of my thoughts during and after the event. To be honest, I have so many thoughts and ideas from the event, I’ll be unpacking and processing them for weeks and months into the future.

what was amazing and grand

  • sincerely grateful for the sponsors, hosts, and all who attended; THANK YOU for your generosity, hospitality, and commitment to this cause for the next decade
  • the Grand Challenge framework as facilitated by Seth Kahan was masterful, what a marvel to see it in action; working together is far better than working apart, and this framework looks so helpful and powerful
  • hope and grace still showed up (as a person of faith, I was pleasantly surprised that the summit facilitator noticed these 2 most powerful words, even though faith often carries its own stigma in an academic and scientific research setting)
  • many were open to volunteering their efforts towards working groups
Goals of Grand Challenge
Goals of the Grand Challenge

ideas to stop stigma together faster and farther

  • many other stop stigma campaigns elsewhere already have it going on; this Grand Challenge could amplify more of that, in addition to developing something brand new with Ad Council
  • so many were missing from the room
    • people with lived experiences (especially unpaid people)
    • next generation leaders
    • leaders from digital spaces
    • leaders from faith communities
    • disabilities and diversity, etc etc etc
  • the conversations can continue regularly online, rather than waiting for a summit once or twice a year
  • leveraging the digital tools and resources that are everywhere, and adapting concepts of open source and ‘build in public

the KEY to ending stigma in mental health from global experts

A research report from the Lancet Commission with global experts in mental health clearly identified the key to ending stigma and discrimination is this:

“Crucially, to advance this agenda people with lived experience of mental health conditions must co-design and co-produce anti-stigma initiatives & policies.”

I’d love to connect and collaborate together

To be continued; would love to connect with your efforts in this space too, please let me know what you’re doing. On a personal note, I’m a part of launching Christian Asian Mental Health. (Yes, I’m a person with 22 years of lived experience in managing my mental illness. What that means for me, is this topic is very urgent for me, a matter of life and death, and I cannot wait around for methodological research and development of reports and models and campaigns; I have to take immediate action; that’s what I’m doing and committed to continuing for this final chapter of my life.)


2 responses to “Stop Mental Health Stigma Together: My Debrief”

  1. mark rapaport Avatar
    mark rapaport

    Thank you for this wonderful and thoughtful contribution! I hope you continue to partner with us in the Grand Challenge.
    Mark Rapaport

    1. Hello Mark, thank you for stopping by my blog and reading my thoughts. Appreciate your efforts with the Grand Challenge and happy to participate where I can along the way. Regards, DJ Chuang

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