Mental Illness Awareness & Prevention Community Event
Shame says, “Black folks don’t get depressed, we get the blues.” And Denial echoes, “Black kids don’t commit suicide.” Denial and Shame stand between us and the help that we sometimes desperately need. It is the stigma that accompanies depression, mental illness and suicide that silences us and steals our power against these very real enemies.
The Jack and Jill South Suburban Chicago Chapter is determined to tell the truth, expose the myths and empower our community to be STIGMA FREE! On April 30, 2016, our Legislative committee gathered with our community for a day of truth-telling. Workshops led by mental health professionals, a resource fair and panel discussion on mental illness and suicide informed all in attendance. Our community partner for the day was the Marcie Jonea Gerald Movement which honors Marcie, a beautiful, smart teenager in our community who dreamed of attending Harvard Law. Marcie was sexually assaulted and never recovered. Instead, on July 19, 2015 she hugged and kissed her mom, went upstairs and committed suicide. With her untimely death, the Marcie Jonea Gerald Movement began. The movement spreads suicide awareness and is working on getting a bill passed in Marcie’s name.