stuart baker-brown plans to scale the world's tallest peak, mount everest, in april next year. and who is this man?
he is a 41-year-old man, from cerne abbas, diagnosed with schizophrenia in 1996. stuart has experienced discrimination from both society and from professional careers simply because he has a mental illness.
he is a man saying what i have wanted to say for many years:
"for too long those who have suffered with schizophrenia and severe mental illness have been unfairly associated with violence and fear."
"i want to help people better understand mental illness, show them we are human beings who need to be treated normally in order make our challenge to live easier."
he believes that his climb to the top of mount everest can only help to dispel these fears. he believes, like i believe, change is needed. the mental illness stigma needs to be erased. this is why stuart is climbing everest-to inspire others with a mental illness, and to hopefully help implement change. stuart is climbing to prove to society that people with a mental illness should not be disregarded or treated inadequately. and as he says it best: simply because ‘it needs doing’.
i am not schizophrenic but depression and bipolar run deep in my family. i live it. i know the stigma all too well. and it upsets me more than i can possible express here, or at least today. you can follow and/or donate to his expedition here.