As I begin to chip away at the stigma surrounding mental illness, I envision a national campaign. I hope to create this campaign one day so that EVERYONE can finally see the truth. Luckily, I am a member of a local mental health community board and they may provide me the opportunity to speak with legislation about my ideas for change. I would like you to take a minute and view the following Lance Armstrong/Nike commercial. Of course, I think Nike is capitalizing on the pain of others, but that is a separate issue. The message sent by this ad is one of hope and courage. These are qualities I see in so many silent heros with mental illness. The rest of society does not have the chance to see this courage. Stigma has silenced many and it's time we stand up to the negative words, ideas and ignorance. Like cancer, someone with a mental disorder must be strong in order to overcome this chronic illness. However, he/she has much more to overcome. These individuals are forced to ignore stereotypes that overshadow their courage. Can you imagine a day when mental illness will be viewed in the same light as cancer? It CAN happen. Remember everyone, when it comes to schizophrenia, NOTHING is black and white! Think and feel...in color. To be equal is to have empathy.