Most of us with mental illness are far too aware of one major fact: the only time mental health issues makes the news is when something tragic involves someone with mental illness. A name makes the front pages, there’s call for health reform, then – forgotten. No analysis of the various types of mental illnesses, no calls of examination of the mental health system, no discussion on care, its cost, monetary and lives incomplete. Will it change? The stigma around mental illness can be crippling. Minorities face some of the greatest hardships and burdens dealing with mental health, care and the stigma.

Below are just a few we all should know, follow and support.

Writers and Links:


John Green, anxiety, OCD The Fault in Our Stars”, “Turtles All the Way Down”, a wrenching and revelatory novel providing a window into living in constant fear of your own mind.

Monica A. Coleman, author, “In Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression”, she speaks as minister, woman, friend, professional living with depression. A forty-day devotional displaying experiences of strength, hope, love, and spirit. Another book, Bipolar Faith, discloses her trauma, depression, and the threat of death.

Liz Funk, OCD, freelance writer, author, covers entrepreneurship, productivity, careers. Her website is http://www.lizfunk.com/speaking


Mental Health Professionals with Mental Illness who Spoke Out:


Rufus May. Clinical Psychologist, England. Diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1986 at age 18, compulsorily detained on three occasions. Involved in consumer recovery groups and campaign group, Evolving Minds.

Marsha M. Linehan, creator dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), psychotherapy combining behavioral science with concepts including acceptance and mindfulness. Professor of Psychology. Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington in Seattle. Director of the Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics.

Kay Redfield Jamison, PhD, Clinical psychologist, author, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Mood and Madness, her life with bipolar disorder. Holds post of Dalio Professor in Mood Disorders and Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


Business Leaders, Entrepreneurs:


Researchers found that 49% of entrepreneurs surveyed deal with at least one mental illness and about one third struggle with 2 or more issues. Only about 32% of adults in the U.S. report diagnosis with one or more illness.

Dennis C. Miller, bipolar disorder, former CEO of Somerset Medical Center and Healthcare Foundation. Without this disorder, believes he would not have been successful. Author, Moppin’ Floors to CEO: From Hopelessness and Failure to Happiness and Success. A leadership coach for many CEOs,

Dr. Indigo Triplett, Military veteran, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, 2013. CEO of Careers in Transition Inc., founder of Indigo Insights, a nonprofit providing mental healing by nourishing the spirit and mind of those challenged by life’s journey. She is also the author of a 2014 book about her experiences, with bipolar disorder,  Dueling Dragons: A Bipolar Journey from Darkness into the Light.

Ted Turner, bipolar disorder, causing periods of depression and suicidal thoughts; his father struggled with the same disorder and committed suicide. Created CNN, TNT and the Cartoon Network.

Joe De Sena, founder and CEO of Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand. A NYTimes best-selling author of “Spartan Up”, “Spartan Fit,”, “The Spartan Way.”

Estee Lauder, a makeup mogul, was always preoccupied with women’s facial features. “…. couldn’t stop touching other women’s faces.”

Paul Orfalea, founder, Kinko’s. Book Copy This!: Lessons from a Hyperactive Dyslexic who Turned a Bright Idea Into One of America’s Best Companies, discusses the many struggles he faced in school, college and running his business. Never received high grades. Never top his class. Began selling pencils, paper out of college dorm.

Thom Hartmann, author of The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child.” “My supposed “disorder” led me to create Spartan, the Spartan Up Podcast, and the SpartanX Leadership Forum.”

Jenny Dearborn, Dyslexia, ADHD, mild OCD. CEO Actionable Analytics Group. In special-ed classes until 18. Received a bachelor’s at UC Berkeley and a master’s at Stanford.

Damien Hooper-Campbell, 40, undiagnosed with ADHD until mid-20s. Chief diversity officer, eBay.  Pointedly discusses about reducing the stigma for others. “It’s ok to be open. That level of vulnerability helps others to be open. And those with learning disabilities have often suffered in silence and tried to cover for it. Now I intentionally talk about it.”

Elon Musk, CEO, Tesla, SpaceX.  Bi-polar

Some Sports Figures


Brandon Marshall Borderline personality disorder, former NFL wide receiver, vocal about his BPD diagnosis. Set up a charity, PROJECT 375, led by individuals dedicated to education, support, treatment of mental health.

Ricky Williams. Former NFL running back. Williams and open about struggles with social anxiety disorder, BPD, avoidance disorder (social anxiety).


Some Celebrities Revealing Their Mental Illness. Helping Others Find Courage


Maurice Benard, Plays a family man and crime family boss, making people disappear, born in Martinez, California, is of Salvadorian and Nicaraguan ethnicity, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 22. As General Hospital’s Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr., he had the writer’s incorporate his mental illness into the character and has become a spokesperson for treatment of the disorder with the Mental Health America.  He is active on Facebook discussing his personal anxiety issues via YouTube. His newly released auto biography, entitled, Nothing General About It, also has an audio version.

Glenn Close Founded, Bring Change to Mind (https://bringchange2mind.org/). Goal: to end stigma and discrimination. Her nephew has schizophrenia; her sister, bipolar disorder. “The biggest majority of people living with mental illness are more preyed upon than preying upon. But it does seem to be that somebody who does one of these terrible acts is suffering from some sort of mental disorder.”

And many others…


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Leonardo DiCaprio, David Beckham, Megan Fox, Lena Dunham,

Postpartum Depression: Hayden Panettiere, Gwyneth Paltrow

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): Adam Levine,

Bipolar Disorder: Demi Lovato, Catherine Zeta-Jones,

Depression: Jim Carrey, Jon Hamm, Angelina Jolie, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Brad Pitt, Jared Padalecki, Rachel Maddow, Miley Cyrus

Bulimia: Elton John

Depression, Body Dysmorphia And Eating Disorders: Brittany Snow,

Anxiety And Trichotillomania: Olivia Munn,

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.