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Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness: Peers Play a Critical Role

Edwin Rosario | Jose Cotto, LCSW
July 14, 2022

Teenage Girl Visits Therapist's Office Suffering with Depression

Sharing a lived experience may be the single most important tool we have to address the stigma of living with a mental illness, and the isolation of COVID only exacerbated how important it can be to have someone to talk with who truly understands. Over the past two years, we all learned to keep a very close eye on mental health. We came to see just how much this pandemic affected our physical, emotional, and spiritual response to things that were once everyday occurrences.

Greater awareness has led to some very positive developments, including expanded funding of behavioral health services offered in different ways like telehealth, support for new, innovative programs and

overall greater acceptance and understanding by the world at large. While there’s much work still to be done to overcome the stigma of mental illness, it’s clear no one is a stranger to the realities of mental health.

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About Institute for Community Living

It is Institute for Community Living’s (ICL) mission to help New Yorkers with behavioral health challenges live healthy and fulfilling lives by providing comprehensive housing, health care, and recovery services. We take a trauma-informed approach—meeting the people we serve wherever they are, working together to support them in achieving their goals.

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