What is Normal by Josefina Herrera

Thoughts from Josefina Herrera, an attendee of the Minds Interrupted: Stories of Lives Affected by Mental Illness performance on Saturday, May 11th at the KiMo Theatre:

The night was powerful with the sharing of life stories, the understanding of the impact of mental illness on families— and the courage it takes to turn a tragedy into healing and inspiration. 

I felt fortunate and grateful to witness these stories. The powerful sharing inspired a conversation with my family. Afterwards, as we sat around the dinner table, we discussed the courage it takes to not only have to learn to adapt to a loved one struggling, then to share that intimate struggle with a group of people.

Our society, our schools, and our governments need to discuss and learn more about mental health and how it affects everyone single one of us. There is a hidden expectation that we as humans have to be “normal,” when the human mind and body is so complex. What is “normal,” really? 

We must continue to talk about mental illness, to support and encourage education and conversations about it. It begins with education and understanding and empathy.