fight the stigma

Most people who live with mental illness have, at some point, been blamed for their condition. They’ve been called names. Their symptoms have been referred to as “a phase” or something they can control “if they only tried.” They have been illegally discriminated against, with no justice. This is the unwieldy power that stigma holds.

Stigma causes people to feel ashamed for something that is out of their control. Worst of all, stigma prevents people from seeking the help they need. For a group of people who already carry such a heavy burden, stigma is an unacceptable addition to their pain. And while stigma has reduced in recent years, the pace of progress has not been quick enough.

All of us in the mental health community need to raise our voices against stigma. Every day, in every possible way, we need to stand up to stigma. Talk Openly About Mental Health.

“I fight stigma by talking about what it is like to have bipolar disorder and PTSD on Facebook. Even if this helps just one person, it is worth it for me.” – Angela Christie Roach Taylor

Educate Yourself and Others

“I take every opportunity to educate people and share my personal story and struggles with mental illness. It doesn’t matter where I am, if I overhear a conversation or a rude remark being made about mental illness, or anything regarding a similar subject, I always try to use that as a learning opportunity and gently intervene and kindly express how this makes me feel, and how we need to stop this because it only adds to the stigma.” – Sara Bean

Be Conscious of Language

“I fight stigma by reminding people that their language matters. It is so easy to refrain from using mental health conditions as adjectives and in my experience, most people are willing to replace their usage of it with something else if I explain why their language is problematic.” – Helmi Henkin

Encourage Equality Between Physical and Mental Illness

“I find that when people understand the true facts of what a mental illness is, being a disease, they think twice about making comments. I also remind them that they wouldn’t make fun of someone with diabetes, heart disease or cancer.” – Megan Dotson

Show Compassion for Those with Mental Illness

“I offer free hugs to people living outdoors, and sit right there and talk with them about their lives. I do this in public, and model compassion for others. Since so many of our homeless population are also struggling with mental illness, the simple act of showing affection can make their day but also remind passersby of something so easily forgotten: the humanity of those who are suffering.” – Rachel Wagner

Choose Empowerment Over Shame

“I fight stigma by choosing to live an empowered life. To me, that means owning my life and my story and refusing to allow others to dictate how I view myself or how I feel about myself.” – Val Fletcher

Be Honest About Treatment

“I fight stigma by saying that I see a therapist and a psychiatrist. Why can people say they have an appointment with their primary care doctor without fear of being judged, but this lack of fear does not apply when it comes to mental health professionals?” – Ysabel Garcia

Let the Media Know When They’re Being Stigmatizing

“If I watch a program on TV that has any negative comments, story lines or characters with a mental illness, I write to the broadcasting company and to the program itself. If Facebook has any stories where people make ignorant comments about mental health, then I write back and fill them in on my son’s journey with schizoaffective disorder.” – Kathy Smith

Don’t Harbor Self-Stigma

“I fight stigma by not having stigma for myself—not hiding from this world in shame, but being a productive member of society. I volunteer at church, have friends, and I’m a peer mentor and a mom. I take my treatment seriously. I’m purpose driven and want to show others they can live a meaningful life even while battling [mental illness].” – Jamie Brown

This is what our collective voice sounds like. It sounds like bravery, strength, and persistence—the qualities we need to face mental illness and to fight stigma. No matter how you contribute to the mental health movement, you can make a difference simply by knowing that mental illness is not anyone’s fault, no matter what societal stigma says. You can make a difference by being and living stigma free! 



Together we can.

Make a difference!



Our Mission:

  • To EMPOWER through education all members of our community to make the best choices for their lives through understanding of the dangers of substance misuse.  
  • To ENCOURAGE those in need of recovery to seek treatment.   
  • To ENGAGE those in our recovery community as a valued asset to their families, community, and the economy of Johnson County.  
  • To bring together community and regional stakeholders to strengthen our community.
  • To be a community leader and provide resources to our community partners and members. 



We will be having our Membership Meeting on Tuesday, May 16th at 11:30 a.m. at the First Christian Church Life Center. Lots of exciting things going on please join us!! Lunch will be provided so please RSVP with Elizabeth at or call 423.727.0780.

Weekend of Hope



Learn more about our upcoming events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities by getting our monthly newsletter sent right to your email!


If you are looking for more information about Recovery classes or programs offered in Johnson County as well as the Tri-Cities area, please click “Learn More” below.


Ways You Can Help

Volunteer With Us

We are always needing helping hands! Click here to see ways you can volunteer with us today.

Become a Member

By becoming a member, you can act alongside A.C.T.I.O.N. in improving our community. Click below to download our membership packet and return it by email to or drop it off at our office located at 138 E. Main St, Mountain City, TN.



Every contribution made to A.C.T.I.O.N. goes directly to improving the lives of those in our community. Click here for donation options.

Make an Indirect Contribution

Every purchase made on AmazonSmile with A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition selected as your charity generates a donation from Amazon to A.C.T.I.O.N.! And it is so easy! Just click on the AmazonSmile photo to the left and shop on Amazon as you normally would. Once your purchase has been made, AmazonSmile Foundation donates 0.5% of the purchase price and gifts it to A.C.T.I.O.N. Coalition. 

Current Funding

Partnership for Success-RX

The State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has extended their grant award to our service region through September 2020 to concentrate on reducing prescription and non prescription drug use, concentrating on the opioid use/misuse/abuse.

Established Coalition Grant

The State of Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services has awarded us a grant for 2019-2020 that focuses primarily on alcohol/nicotine use among our youth.

Community Support

Although grants are a great source of funding for prevention activities they are restricted in what they are allowed to do. Community partnerships are a great source to help fill in the gap where grant funding leaves off.  Allowing us to purchase items and provide activities and entertainment for our youth and children is a great way to cultivate a positive atmosphere for our young people to grow and enrich their lives. 

You Can Help!

Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve lives. Your donations will help those in need!

Click here to donate to A.C.T.I.O.N. through any of the available means.

This project is funded under a grant contract with the state of Tennessee, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.    

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