Halting a Crisis: Living without Stigma

This article is the fourteenth  in a series about the epidemic of opioid addiction and how NEOMED is training future physicians and pharmacists to help. Farheen Kaleem, a second-year student in the College of Pharmacy and a student representative on the University’s Mental Health Committee, contributed this article.

During my first year in pharmacy school at NEOMED, I had the privilege of attending the College of Psychiatric and Neurological Pharmacists conference to present my poster on the current opioid epidemic in Northeast Ohio. The theme of this conference centered around finding hope for those living with mental illnesses and finding ways to end the stigmas associated with these illnesses. CPNP partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) on a campaign called StigmaFree to encourage individuals living with the secrecy of mental illness to come forward and receive the type of help they need. 

This very theme was re- introduced to me when I attended a lecture right here at NEOMED presented by Elyn R. Saks, Ph.D., who struggled years with mental health issues, and was reluctant to come forward because of the immense stigma centered around them. At the time Dr. Saks was a student at Yale Law School, and after a breakdown on campus, decided to withdraw from her classes and restart the following year.

Although these types of actions may be looked down upon by doctoral programs, seeking help for mental illnesses is especially important.  NEOMED is an institution that encourages students to take advantage of its mental health resources. Together,  we can end this stigma by encouraging our fellow classmates to seek help when they need it.


Do you need help for yourself or a friend?

To make an appointment with Counseling Services, call 330-325-6757 or email counseling@neomed.edu.

If you urgently need to speak with a counselor after regular office hours, call 216.903.7873 and leave a message, including your full name and phone number. Please allow 15 minutes for a counselor to return your call.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, or if you are experiencing an emotional or psychiatric crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.8255 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Crisis Text Line






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