OK, just one thing, but you know what? It was a big one.
A local TV station ran this horrifically offensive, fear-mongering spot about patients in our state mental hospital and literally called them "prisoners on the loose."
If I didn't know better, I wouldn't have thought it was real. It was like an SNL skit spoofing fear-mongering bad TV.
So my organization went to the mattresses. We sent out an action alert and posted on our Facebook page asking people to call and spam the station and let them know that people living with mental illness were not freaks, and that people getting mental health treatment were not "prisoners on the loose."
And guess what? Within just a few hours, because of our volunteers taking time to let them know that people living with mental illness were not big scary monsters, they pulled it. They are running the news segment tonight, but apparently it's not nearly as inflammatory as the ad spot was. (You can see the original spot by visiting this advocacy group's web site.)
*Ninja update* - and I am not making this up - the advocacy group's site was hacked! So you can visit this awesome blog post from The Portland Mercury, which has the video embedded.
I take this personally. I live with anxiety and depression and I kiss my toes that I have an anti-depressant that works most of the time, and a supportive and loving partner, family and friends. If I didn't, I'd probably have ended up in a hospital too.
That said, I have relatives and friends whose illnesses got so bad that they had to be hospitalized. That TV station was demonizing people just like my family, volunteers, and colleagues.
Can you imagine a group of people with any other illness - say, cancer or diabetes - being so stigmatized for seeking help for a health issue, or for being treated at a hospital?
So what do I like this Thursday? I like grassroots organizations kicking ass, thank you very much.