Serious mental illness (SMI) is one of my areas of expertise. As a freelance mental health writer, I’m well read on mental health conditions and have written on a number of mental disorders and illnesses. These include obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), attention deficit disorder (ADD or ADHD) bipolar disorder, schizophrenia (see page 26), and schizoaffective disorder, among others. I’m also a mental health care advocate, so find out about my advocacy efforts for better mental health care policy for those with serious mental illness.
I have a strong interest in human behavior, whether it’s psychological or neurological. Some mental illnesses are of particular interest to me because of my family history. My dad suffered from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. I also have a son with schizoaffective disorder (bipolar and schizophrenia combined). His dreadful disease is what ultimately led me to advocate for better national mental health care policy. It also resulted in my interest in becoming a writer on serious mental illness, in particular.
Myself, I’ve been diagnosed with anxiety, panic attacks, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), major depression, and attention deficit disorder. My personal experience brings great insight into these brain disorders and diseases.
As an avid reader and freelance psychology writer, I also have an understanding of personality disorders, such as narcissistic personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, among others. I’m very fascinated by what makes people tick.
Freelance Mental Health Writer & Advocate Demonstrates the Power of the Pen
I have a son with schizoaffective disorder (schizophrenia and bipolar combined). So in 2015, I became an advocate to reform America’s broken mental health care system for those with serious mental illness (SMI). During this period, I created a number of campaigns to move the bipartisan bill, The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR2646) through Congress. To accomplish these efforts, I took charge by leading 200+ advocates through the campaigns. Many of the advocates, much to their credit, had dedicated substantial time and effort over the years toward bringing the needed change. But in an uphill battle, they eventually lost hope, energy, and ultimately, their momentum. Other advocates, though supportive, had never taken an active role.
So with the power of the pen, I caught the group on fire. I used my skills as a nonprofit copywriter and wrote persuasive articles, web content, and social media posts to garner public support. I also created a family stories packet. This packet, along with a compelling letter and other materials I wrote, was mailed by advocates to all 530+ U.S. House and Senate members in an effort to gain their votes. The once disheartened group of advocates were suddenly tireless.
As a result, we succeeded in pushing the nearly dead HR2646 through the committee in which it had stalled. A year later, many of the monumental measures of this bill became the mental health care portion of the 21st Century Cures Act. It was signed into law by President Obama in December 2016. This was a long overdue victory for better mental health care for individuals with serious mental illness. I’m proud to say, I’ve since been credited as playing an instrumental role in getting these mental health care provisions enacted.
Taking a Scientific Approach as a Mental Health Writer
One thing I feel strongly about is that a mental health writer should be as objective as possible because people’s well-being is at stake. When misinformation is published, or unproven therapies based only on anecdotal evidence are recommended, those with mental health problems suffer. So when writing, I rely on scientific evidence when discussing available treatments.
As a mental health writer, I certainly recognize the validity of the field of psychology. But there’s a small percentage of psychologists and therapists who fail to be objective. Some of these practitioners reject psychiatry insisting all human behavior stems from personal experience and that psychotherapy is the only cure. For some mental health problems, this is true. But equally true, our brains can and do have deficits or diseases just like any other organ in our bodies. And just like any other disease, medication is often necessary because of chemical imbalances or diseases of the brain.
There’s also a big push by some mental health professionals for alternative (scientifically unproven) therapies. These therapies can be both risky and costly and are often ineffective. Most alternative therapies have only anecdotal evidence and provide merely a placebo effect, at best. At worst, pseudo-medicine or pseudo psychology can be unsafe resulting in negative consequences either psychologically or physiologically, or both. It also allows mental health problems to persist.
Get a Free Quote for Your Writing Project
If you need a freelance writer on mental health, and especially a writer on serious mental illness, I’ll provide well researched, evidence-based content for your blog, website, print publication, or book. So be sure to request a free quote or your writing project.