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

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.)

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2 Responses

  1. mark rapaport says:

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

    • djchuang says:

      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