Stigma is – treating a person with a mental health issue differently than a person with a physical health issue.
Usually when someone is hospitalized for medical reasons, friends, family and co-workers send get well cards, flowers – they offer to do whatever is needed for that person while they are recovering.
But when a person is hospitalized for a mental health condition or crisis, no flowers are sent, no cards with well wishes are sent and no one is offering to do whatever is needed for that person while they are recovering.
Why Not? Often friends, family, and co-workers don’t know what to do. They may wonder “Is it appropriate to send a card? What would I say?”
It is very appropriate and appreciated!
Join us in sending a message of hope in a card.
MHASF will deliver all greeting cards on our monthly visits to San Francisco General Hospital ‘s psychiatric unit to offer well wishes and caring words to people in our community who may not receive this type of support, encouragement and a belief in their recovery.
History of Do Send a Card
The “Do Send a Card” project was inspired during MHASF’s 2012 Mental Health Month Celebration when Dr. Elyn Saks read excerpts from her best-selling novel,“The Center Cannot Hold”. Dr. Saks poignantly portrays her personal struggles with mental health challenges while attending graduate school and law school. She then spoke of how later in life she was also hospitalized for cancer; and much to her surprise, she received cards, flowers, care packages, and phone calls of well wishes.
Dr. Saks never received a card, flower, care package or a single call to wish her well during any of the numerous times she was hospitalized in a psychiatric unit.
Upon concluding her reading that evening, she suggested to the audience, “…and DO send flowers.
MHASF does not have capacity to send flowers to our community members in the hospital for mental health conditions, but we can send a card …and we can support you to send a card as well!
The Do Send a Card Project
We collect messages of hope on blank, Thinking of You, or Get Well Soon greeting cards. The first Monday of every month peer educators from SOLVE , (Sharing Our Lives, Voices, and Experience) the MHASF stigma reduction speakers bureau, visit the San Francisco General Hospital psychiatric unit. We tell stories of our lives, our recovery, the stigma that we have endured around mental health challenges and how we are staying well today. Through the DO SEND A CARD project we also bring messages of hope to the patients on the unit, who are always so grateful. We continuously hear from patients and nurses that these are the first cards they have ever received while they were on the unit or in any other mental health facility. We are fighting against stigma!
Call to Action
If you would like to share a message of hope, please visit our website at DoSendACard.org
We encourage you to join us or start “DO SEND A CARD” in your area.
You can help by sending us your messages of hope, providing funds to support the project, or providing greeting cards with envelopes: all donations are greatly appreciated!
If you need any further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
870 Market St. Suite #928
San Francisco , Ca 94102
Attention : Terri Byrne