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‘It doesn’t discriminate’: Auburn native’s third book details mental illness
“There’s nobody that (mental illness) excludes. It didn’t matter that I worked for the best designers in the world. It didn’t matter that I had a lot of money or that I was living in Paris or Milan — none of that mattered. It doesn’t discriminate.” – Cioffa, The Citizen
ADVOCACY –As a mental health advocate, author and bipolar survivor for twenty years, Cioffa has been very vocal and honest about her diagnosis raising awareness so that no one should suffer alone or feel stigmatized. Without the support of family, friends, and community too many lose the fight. We as a society with a broken health care system, need to be held accountable.
THE RED BENCH, a fantastical, visceral roman à clef follows Cioffa’s descent into mental illness and bipolar disorder as she struggles to pick up the pieces of her fractured life after a nervous breakdown. Committed to writing for 365 days she finds solace, hope, and strength through a red bench, imagination, the changing seasons and healing power of nature.
“In “The Red Bench,” Jacqueline Cioffa provides a raw, real and painfully honest description of her battles with bipolar disorder. As a clinical psychologist, I have had years of experience as a mental health provider and as an advocate. I can say with assurance that The Red Bench is perhaps the most eloquent first-person account of mental illness I have ever read. Cioffa’s narrative is both lyrical and disturbing, showing the full burden of her struggle, while also offering hope and inspiration for brighter days to come.” – David T. Susman, PhD
“One in five American suffer from mental illness and approximately one third of those who suffer with mental illness does not seek medical treatment. For this reason alone, Nutritionist Kelly Springer said it’s the biggest reason why she’s taken major steps in working to help combat those with mental illness through nutrition.”
“Nutrition is Powerful and that’s why we have to break this down, so you know how this works,” – Springer, Bridge Street TV
END THE STIGMA / ACCOUNTABILITY – We need to have honest and open conversation so others feel comfortable to speak out without shame.
MENTAL ILLNESS STATS
1 IN 5 ADULTS have a diagnosable mental illness
#2 LEADING CAUSE of death among students is suicide
67% OF COLLEGE STUDENTS first tell a friend they are feeling suicidal before telling anyone else
50% OF US will experience a mental health condition in our lifetime