My daughter lost her battle with mental illness on March 19, 2013. She had just turned 23 years old. She was studying for the MCAT, and planned to cure cancer. She was curious and gentle and loving. She was too young.

The pain of losing Emily is indescribable. And, I truly did not know how I would ever be able to move forward. In some ways, I do not think that I ever will be able to really move on from it. But, I knew that I had to try.

Two weeks after we buried Emily, my sister saw one of Bring Change to Mind’s PSAs on television and told me that I needed to check out the organization. A month after my first conversation with the Executive Director, I joined the BC2M Board of Directors. After weeks of seemingly insurmountable heartache, I finally had a place to channel all of my emotions into something that felt productive. I had an opportunity to work with an organization dedicated to erasing the deadly stigma that surrounds mental illness. I had a chance to try and prevent another parent from going through what I had experienced.

After Emily passed away, it felt as though I had become a member a club that I never wanted to join – a club for people who have lost a loved one to mental illness. No one wants to be a part of this club. And, I think that I speak for all of us who are united by loss when I say that we do not want any more members. We do not want anyone else to have to go through the unspeakable pain that is burying someone that you love.

So, we need to use our common understanding of this daunting topic to speak up and to speak out about mental health. We have a chance to gather our voices to create change. We need to share our stories in the ways that feel sustainable to us, and to honor the beautiful lives led by those that we have lost. We have to create safe opportunities for others to open up about their experiences of living with mental illness – both their successes and their hardships. We have to connect with those who are too scared to seek help and who are unsure about what exactly they may be going through. We need to support impactful programs, such as BC2M’s Student Movement and PSAs, that are elevating the mental health conversation to unprecedented levels. Our High School and Undergrad Programs are creating peer-led initiatives that empower students to create dialogue and connection on their own campuses. Our PSAs are reaching billions of people with our message that it is time to talk about mental health and to eradicate stigma once and for all.

We all have an opportunity, and we all have a role to play. We all have the chance to bring change to mind.

David Watson speaking about why his company, GLOWBIOTICS, donates 1% of sales to Bring Change to Mind in memory of his daughter, Emily.
I hope that you will be able to join me in giving to Bring Change to Mind this year to support their life-saving work to raise mental health awareness. Every bit helps more than you could know so whether you are donating $5, $50,000, or your time and commitment to this mission – thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I will never know if I could have saved Emily, but I do know that the work that we are all doing to normalize the conversation around mental health is changing the lives of so many others. And, for that, I am eternally grateful.
Donate

From my family to you and yours, please know that I am wishing you a safe, warm, and stigma-free holiday season.

All my very best,
David Watson
BC2M Board Member & Chair Emeritus
GLOWBIOTICS Co-Founder

6 Comments on “Bring Change To Mind

  1. Pingback: Mystery Blogger Award Nomination #2! – Life with an Illness

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