Mental health is not an abstract concept for me. When I was a teenager, my mother, who was a busy and successful professional, suffered a major depressive episode. Everything stopped as my family grappled with what was happening. Mental health was not anything we had ever thought about, much less discussed.
As a teen, I wanted to blame her for somehow not doing better, knowing better. I didn’t know then that mental illness is no different than a physical ailment. We don’t condemn a patient for being physically sick; why do we when it comes to mental health?