Tag Archives: speaking out

Speak out for mental health

I speak out for mental health because –   I never want another mother to experience what I did.

Blame, shame, discrimination and stigma are the result of NOT speaking out!

When I give a talk or blog or write articles, my message reaches many people who I can help, as I gained a lot of experience while living with my mentally ill son.

I learned a lot by watching how my son’s illness affected the rest of my family.

I am quite prepared to pass on any knowledge I have gained.

Talking about stuff in your brain is no different from talking about what is going on in the rest of your body.  Why should a discussion on improving our physical health be different from improving our mental health. It isn’t brave to talk about mental illness. It should be natural as the things that are happening in our brains so it’s not really special to talk about it. IF we see someone sweating in the gym or puffing and panting in a pool, it would not occur to us to tell those people that they are brave because they talked about their activities, right?

I think that if somebody tells me that I am brave because I talk so openly about my son’s illness and subsequent suicide, I think that they are only reacting to their fears . The only way to to make talking about mental illness normal, is to treat it as something normal.


speak out                                                                                                                        peer pressre 3

Praise for DAVID’S STORY

David's Story cover kindle

David’s Story by Jill Sadowsky is available from SMASHWORDS or AMAZON as a Kindle Book.

Praise for David’s Story: by Dvora Waysman, author.

David’s Story is a heart-breaking study of the progress of schizophrenia, destroying not just one life, but making tragic inroads into the lives of every family member. This story gripped me from the first page and I grieved along with the author. I highly recommend it. Jill Sadowsky’s honest recording of her son’s mental illness is written with sensitivity and compassion, born out of love and pain.

By David Greenberg, MD Director of Community Mental Health Services, North Jerusalem, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, Hebrew University Jerusalem, Editor of the Israel Journal of Psychiatry.

David’s Story is a deeply  moving account of the struggle of a family with a son with schizophrenia. Jill Sadowsky describes in the  most credible detail, watching her son deteriorate into psychosis, experiencing his suicide attempts, acts of destruction and his threats to his loved ones. She describes her response to the medication and its side-effects, compulsory treatment, seeing her son in restraints and the hopes and disappointments of seeking new treatments. In the midst of these events, she relates how she and her husband continued to love their son, despite the chaos and destruction his illness caused. Up to 50% of sufferers attempt suicide in the course of the illness and 5% die by suicide.  I particularly recommend this book to every person working in the field of mental health.         

Why I speak out


I speak out in order to explain the process. Every parent with a child suffering from a mental illness feels shock, loss, grief, fear, confusion, ambivalence, guilt sometimes, helplessness, hopelessness and despair. Most of my problems in coping with my feelings came from the fact that I was doing so without the added comfort of extended family and close friends. How could they possibly grasp the enormity of our problem that had taken us so long understand? How could they possibly understand. Some never did.

I asked: “How can I avoid regretting my hopes and dreams that have become so unrealistic?”

Reply: “Don’t wait for your child to fulfil your former expectations; alter them. Learn to forge new dreams. Take one day at a time and of all the advice I received, take one day at a time proved to be the  most helpful.

  •  Part of my coping process is in the telling of my story in the hope that others might understand.
  • I speak out in order to make it difficult for people to close their eyes and their hearts to mental illness around them.
  • I tell my story to gain empathy for all those out there who suffer from mental illnesses.
  • I tell my story to convince those suffering from mental illnesses that with treatment, they can improve their conditions.
  • I tell my story to gain support for them. If they have the backing of their communities, they have the chance of a life with purpose and love.
  • If we all tell our stories, maybe more people out there will listen, believe and even act on our behalf.
  • I doubt whether any politician believed that he/she would gain extra votes by devoting more time to the issue of mental illness but MAYBE THAT TIME IS NOW.

Our tragedy brought to mind something said by Winston Churchill:

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” 



Receiving a prestigious prize for voluntary work done in the field of mental health

It was a great honor for me to receive this prestigious prize for voluntary work done in the field of mental health, ever since our son became ill with schizophrenia.