The Well Community is the only stigma-free zone many of our members have ever known. It is the safe place where they are not judged for the way they dress; where their behaviors, unusual to others, don’t attract stares; where they are known as Karen, or Cindy or Miss Susie not as the “strange lady.”
At The Well we don’t actually talk much about stigma. But our members all know it is the monster that has caused them to seek shelter here, with others who understand and care. In this community they can stave off the isolation that shame and embarrassment feed. Here they can learn about belonging and becoming and blessings.
We have posted some resources recently about how to help stop stigma and how to understand the impact of stigma. We did this because it is really important that each of us help those who struggle with mental illnesses to feel welcomed, not rejected. But until we learn more fully how to love our neighbors as ourselves, at The Well our members continue to love each other as Jesus does: stigma-free.