Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Looney Toons, Coo-Coo for Cocoa Puffs... ditch the labels!

Three decades ago, I did a lesson on occupations with my preschool students. A little boy said, "My daddy works at the NUT HOUSE with the crazy people." His father was a psychiatrist at the state mental health hospital. 

Negative labels, derogatory comments, and stigma about mental health issues still exist.

I am pleased to be a contributing author to Dis*or*der Volume IV, an anthology about mental illness. My poem is one of twelve selected. The book also includes essays. 

Rock-a-bye Mama is about my late mom's nervous breakdown when I was a child, although I didn't specify that detail.

We all have skeletons in our closets. I urge you, don't hesitate to write the unnerving, the difficult... your truths. But do so without hurting others.

Learn more about Elizabeth Dillon (, who states this will be an annual anthology. Check the website to see other anthology topics, submission guidelines, and schedule. 

This is a powerful publication, and the most important two words I've read about this book are "HEALING anthology." I like the site. So many self-help pubs and anthologies  focus on the illness and not the wellness or overcoming. This collection covers a broad spectrum and is representative of numerous diagnoses. I am proud to be a part of this book. ~ Linda O'Connell (a non-profit) and RedDashboard LLC are collaborative grassroots organizations which developed Dis*or*der Volume IV.

This is the blurb on website:

"Mental disorders are no-fault genetic brain conditions which affect one out of every five families. Mental illness can and often does cause chaos, suffering and an inability to function in daily life. They can be difficult to diagnose, yet they usually have a genetic component. Mental illnesses are the leading cause of disability in the United States, more common than heart disease or cancer. Mental illnesses are treatable yet many who suffer are afraid or unable to get treatment.
Authors and Poets come together in this collection by sharing their experiences in their personal life, with family and friends, and in professional lives, the bittersweet reality of living with dis*or*ders. Their words on these pages can begin to replace the stigma surrounding mental illness with understanding, hope and compassion."

Dis*or*der, Volume, IV will be available in May, and we would all appreciate if you could  spread the word by purchasing copies and sharing the info with those you love and within the mental illness community.


Lisa Ricard Claro said...

This anthology is clearly a worthy endeavor. Congratulations on another acceptance!

Sandi said...

It is horrifying to me. I could not be a Psychiatrist or work in a hospital like that. But I agree with you, no need for negative labels. And people do heal. It horrifies me because I have seen what it does. It is like staring at a monster. (Not the person, the illness itself is the monster.)

Kim Lehnhoff said...

Congrats on the writing credit. I will check out the site and will buy a book. Mental illness lives in many homes, and it's time we stop stigmatizing the sick.

Lynn said...

Congratulations Linda! I'm sure your story is as powerful as the book sounds.

Sioux Roslawski said...

Linda--The healing component--I agree--is so powerful and so important.

Congratulations. This makes 8,492 publishing credits for you, right? You are one amazingly prolific writer.

Val said...

Congrats on your poem!

My grandma used to work as a nurse's aide at the state mental hospital. One of the perks was bringing home jigsaw puzzles from the ward, then taking them back after working them. She used to tell us stories about the women on the ward, so much that we got to know them by name. I never heard Grandma tell a negative story. I'm sure her work wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, but she only told us the positive and humorous interactions, leaving the dignity of her patients intact.

Susan said...

Congratulations to you on your latest poem acceptance, Linda. You are always an inspiration. Susan

Sheree Nielsen said...

Congratulations Linda! You're suppose to be retired, remember. I can't keep track of your publications.

Connie said...

Congratulations on being included in this anthology. It sounds like a very worthwhile publication.

Cathy C. Hall said...

Important work and words here, Linda, thanks for sharing!

Pat Wahler said...

I'm sure your story is inspiring.