The Price of Silence: A Family Conversation about Mental Illness

Join Liza and her teenage son for a dialogue about mental illness, advocacy, and love.

Liza Long is the mother of a child who has bipolar disorder. When she heard about the Newtown shooting, her first thought was, “What if my son does that someday?” She wrote an emotional response to the tragedy, which the Boise State University online journal published as “I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother.” The post went viral, receiving 1.2 million Facebook likes, nearly 17,000 tweets, and 30,000 emails. In her book, The Price of Silence, she takes a devastating look at how we fail to treat mental illness, especially in children, who are funneled through a system of education, mental healthcare, and juvenile detention that leads far too often to prison. In the end she asks one central question: If there’s a poster child for cancer, why can’t there be one for mental illness? The answer: stigma.

I hope that you will join me in speaking up for change. Please contact your representatives in  Congress. Join Treatment Before Tragedy. Donate to Participate in your local NAMI walks this fall. And most of all, share your stories. Their truth is powerful. Together, I know we can make a difference. In the words of one of my favorite poets, Robert Frost: 

Only when love and need are one, 

And the work is play for mortal stakes

Is the deed every really done

For heaven and the future’s sakes.

These are our children, and this is their–and our–future. 



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