When I was first selected to join Team Brookline, I was thrilled to raise money for a cause near and dear to my heart. I envisioned lightly and politely communicating this so that I could fundraise for the Brookline Community Mental Health Center. After all, I’m a School Counselor in a close-knit community and anyone could read this. However, the more long runs I’ve been on and the more time I’ve had to think (believe me, you get A LOT of time to think while training for a marathon), I realized that this isn’t just about raising money for the Center. This is about erasing the stigma.
I’m Heather, a Clinical Social Worker by training and a School Counselor by profession. I’m creative, I’m a runner, and I have a full life that makes me very happy. I love what I do, I care deeply about the kids I work with, and I work hard to help each and everyone of them feel happy and good about themselves.
I’m a SURVIVOR. I was born into a home afflicted by mental illness and addiction and endured abuse and neglect as a result. The truth is I could be you or anyone you know. My story isn’t unique.
The real reason I’m running the Boston Marathon is to take a step towards erasing the stigma. You don’t know when you look at someone what they’ve been through, what battle they’re fighting today or what battle they’ve already won. We have to start talking about these things. We have to start leaning on each other. Mental health isn’t shameful. It’s something many people come by honestly – whether they struggle themselves or have a loved one that does. They have no more control over it then we do over the weather. What’s a shame is staying silent.
Thank you for visiting my page and thank you for supporting me in erasing the stigma.