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Letter: Stigma keeps some from seeking help

Brothers Christopher and Matthew Prisco, and their friend

Brothers Christopher and Matthew Prisco, and their friend Bryan Gallagher, left to right, sit inside the Prisco home in Northport near a table filled with cowboy hats they have collected throughout the year. (May 21, 2013) Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

I commend Newsday for the terrific article on the Prisco family and its quest to raise awareness about mental illness ["Fighting stigma of mental illness," News, June 3].

The stigma associated with mental illness goes beyond nearly every other health condition. It is easy to overlook that many individuals affected are experiencing something that is biologically based, not very different from diabetes or thyroid issues.

The public perception often reflects fear and the lack of understanding that treatment is available and recovery is possible. Families and individuals who can openly communicate their concerns will not only raise awareness, but reduce the fear and stigma associated with disclosing that you or someone in your family needs help.

Kristie Golden, Stony Brook

Editor's note: The writer is the administrator of the Stony Brook University Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science.

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