We’re thrilled to announce Gabe Howard, the second place winner of our Live Bold, Live Now™ Photo Contest, and regular contributor to bp Magazine and PsychCentral, as HealthCentral’s first Mental Health Social Ambassador! Gabe is a vocal mental health speaker, writer and activist, as well as a person living with bipolar and anxiety disorders.
In addition to writing regularly for HealthCentral, Gabe will be helping to managethe new Mental Health on HealthCentral Facebook Page to share resources, personal experiences and support others living with mental health conditions.
Get to know him better by visiting GabeHoward.com and reading his letter to the community below. Also be sure to “Like” our new Facebook page to stay in touch and up-to-date throughout the year!
My name is Gabe Howard and I’m the, “mental health guy” here on HealthCentral. Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with several respected advocacy organizations and with hundreds of families and individuals with mental illness.
I was diagnosed with bipolar and anxiety disorders in 2003 and, since reaching recovery, I’ve made it my mission to put a human face on mental illness. I believe it’s critical to confront the fear, discrimination, and stigma faced by those of us who live with mental illness. Society often only sees us at our worst. I want them to see the other side, to balance the conversation, so to speak.
The best way to do this is with education, and the best education is to teach by example.
That’s my goal on this site: to educate by showing what life with mental illness is really like, to show that we are not terribly different from anyone else.** Just “normal” people who happen to also have a health condition we are managing.**
Thank you for being here. Open, honest, and respectful dialogue is the only way we can learn. We must be willing to have the hard conversations. Please don’t hesitate to reach out – it’s why we are here.
Kristina Brooks is a gluten-free digital editor at HealthCentral, with a background in animal biology, ecology, and health science. While studying broadcast journalism, she discovered the great need for health reporters that could translate research to the public. In her work, she hopes to use research to help consumers make smart decisions about their healthcare, and empower patients to stay confident and in charge of their chronic conditions. Kristina works on the HealthySelf newsletter, as well as HealthCentral’s MythWeek.