one story at a time
We live in an era where information is readily accessible. However, be it for school projects or government policy reform, numbers and statistics tend to dominate over actual human stories and experiences. While data provides a big-picture perspective, it blurs out the individual experience and the human story.
Below are the symbolic pieces of artwork that accompany each story of stigma and strength, and a statistic about each stigmatized issue.
Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction.
In 2017, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder
CHILDREN OF INCARCERATED PARENTS
More than 2.7 million children in the U.S. have an incarcerated parent. That is 1 in 28 children. 1 in 9 African -American children
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience a mental illness.
About 20% of Americans who have depression or an anxiety disorder also have a substance use disorder.
2.3 million students are diagnosed with specific learning disabilities and receive services under IDEA.
25.2 percent of LGBT respondents have experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity in the past year.
STIGMA IN SOCIETY
Although it has become less socially acceptable to voice blatantly stigmatized and aggressive opinions, stigma continues to manifest itself in society in much more subtle ways, making it sometimes even more difficult to deal with. Right now, stigma comes mainly in the form of ignorance and a lack of openness.
Lack of openness
However, a story has the transformative power to change those into understanding and normalization
SOURCE OF STRENGTH
The stories are a great source of strength and motivation to conquer any obstacles you might be facing. These are all regular people---neighbors, friends, family----who were able to overcome stigmatized hardships and systemic inequalities.
Are you battling a stigmatized hardship?
Each story equips you with lessons and strategies to overcome your hardship, but most importantly, it gives you hope. Other people were able to beat their hardship, you can too!
In life, obstacles are inevitable. Knowing that people around you have been able to beat extremely adverse situations is motivating and empowering.
Humans are resilient.
Mary Conboy Gorfine, Program Coordinator
Rochester-Olmsted Youth Commission
Olmsted County Administration