Here at Skepticon HQ we’ve heard that about one in five adults will suffer from mental illness this year. The fact that half of these will not receive treatment should be cause for alarm. With May announced, by presidential proclamation, as National Mental Health Awareness Month, we’d like to do our part continuing to support open dialogue. At some Skepticon in the future, we hope that the personal stigma related to mental health and its treatment will be a thing of the past.
During Skepticon 4, original Skepticon co-founder JT Eberhard gave a firsthand account of his own battles, Mental Illness and Why the Skeptic Community Should Give a Shit.
“But that’s the thing about mental illness is, it takes away your ability to reason at times, and you don’t even know it. And so, how do you beat this, how do you beat the fact that every time you go out into public, something sets you off into a panic, ’cause you don’t want to be a burden to anyone around you, you don’t want to be a burden to your friends, do you just gut it out?” spoiler: No, you don’t.
Greta Christina later would share her own story during her talk on Avoiding Activist Burnout at Skepticon 6.
“let’s support each other in reducing stress in whatever way works for us, and let’s make sure to provide a variety of stress reduction community activities.” spoiler: more than just drinking.
Rob Lehr, who has provided the steady hand and badass editing of all of our videos under HamboneProductions, also contributes a lot of work to the Missouri State Live Action Society, a group that gives people who might not fit into a typical college organization a safe place to belong. For example, hosting campus wide Humans vs Zombie campaigns large enough to scare local media with Nerf guns.
The entire Skepticon team wants to see you each year as healthy as possible. We’d be pretty shitty friends if you showed up with a broken leg and we didn’t recommend seeing a doctor. Take the time to watch a video, or browse a site like the Mental Health America or MentalHealth.gov, and if any of these feelings or symptoms sound familiar, please speak to a healthcare professional.