The "Our Stories, Our Lives" Project

Far too often, people with mental health and substance use conditions are portrayed in negative ways in the media, which contributes to stereotypes and discrimination. The “Our Stories, Our Lives” project seeks to gather and share stories of triumph and struggle from everyday people living with mental health and substance use conditions, to help shift the public perception towards recovery and hope.

What do we mean by “recovery?”

There are many definitions of recovery, but we see it as a process of change by which a person with a mental health condition moves in the direction of living the life they want to live in the community of their choosing. Recovery does not necessarily mean “cure” or becoming “normal.” One can experience setbacks and challenges and continue to be on a path of recovery. Critical to the recovery model is the growing evidence base that people can and do achieve improved health and well-being, despite the limitations of illness or disability.

Yet for too many Americans, recovery is difficult to achieve because of such factors as prejudice and discrimination, criminalization of mental health conditions, lack of affordable housing, lack of education and employment opportunities, poverty, and underfunding of community-based support services.

In writing or video, tell us your story!