asha international mental health

We Give Hope

During the early days of mental health treatment in America, asylums often restrained people who had mental illnesses with iron chains and shackles around their ankles and wrists. With better understanding and treatments, this cruel practice eventually stopped.

In the early 1950s, Mental Health America issued a call to asylums across the country for their discarded chains and shackles. On April 13, 1956, at the McShane Bell Foundry in Baltimore, Md., Mental Health America melted down these inhumane bindings and recast them into a sign of hope: the Mental Health Bell.

Now the symbol of Mental Health America, the 300-pound Bell serves as a powerful reminder that the invisible chains of misunderstanding and discrimination continue to bind people with mental illnesses. Today, the Mental Health Bell rings out hope for improving mental health and achieving victory over mental illnesses.

While I celebrate the strides both science and society have taken to understand and treat mental illnesses, I am deeply saddened by the persistent stigma, discrimination and lack of affordable, accessible care that prevents millions of people struggling with mental health issues around the world from seeking life-saving treatment and support. Yet, as a mother and mental health advocate, I have faith in our collective ingenuity and resilience to create a world of equity, dignity, hope, and humanity where every man, woman, and child struggling with mental health issues are provided the love and support they need to thrive in life. 

In this blog post, I am delighted to share a wonderful work of mental health advocate and advocacy that is tearing down the insidious chains of stigma and discrimination, one day, one person at a time. As Toni Morrison once said, “The function of freedom is to free someone else.” 

The Benefits Of Advocacy: Healing Through Empowerment

“The unbelievable power of advocacy is an important part of my recovery. Through the last couple of years of public speaking, writing, and completely baring my soul to thousands of strangers I have done exactly what Kim has done. I have learned and received far more from my audience then I have given.” 

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Wishing you wellness, 

Gayathri Ramprasad, MBA, CPS 

Founder & President, ASHA International
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