Letter by Kristie Golden, PhD about Stigma Published in Newsday

June 12, 2013 – On June 10 Newsday published a letter* from department administrator Kristie Golden under the title “Stigma keeps some from seeking help.” In her letter Dr. Golden commended Newsday for its June 3 article about a family’s quest to raise awareness about mental illness.

Noting the stigma attached to mental illness, Dr. Golden pointed out that the public’s lack of awareness about the biological bases of psychiatric disorders can obscure the fact that treatment is available and recovery is possible. Dr. Golden affirmed that families who openly communicate about mental illness help reduce the fear and stigma associated with seeking treatment.

The June 3 article described plans by three young men to travel to all 50 states in an effort to raise awareness about mental illness. In 2009, the mother of two of the young men, Kathleen Prisco, stabbed and killed their father. She was later found not guilty by reason of mental disease and remanded to a high-security psychiatric hospital. The boys said that they knew their mother was ill but were unable to broach the subject of seeing a psychiatrist. The young men hope that by raising awareness they can encourage others to seek help for themselves or their loved ones.

*Note: Link to Newsday article may require a subscription.