Break the Stigma: A Mental Health Panel

Join Katie Ford and Lululemon North Shore in an effort to reduce the stigma around mental health


Anna Pierson, Editor-in-Chief

It is essential to acknowledge the impact that a time like this–a time of isolation and sickness–has on mental health.

Still, mental illness and other struggles with mental health have been apparent long before the pandemic. For Katie Ford, a mother and member of the Lake Forest community, her mission as a mental health advocate began in 2017. 

After years of fighting her own battles with mental illness, she decided to break her silence in January of 2017 by sharing her story via social media. After receiving an overload of positive feedback from others who were previously silent about their struggles, Ford decided she wanted to take her advocacy even further.

“I decided something needed to be done to shed light on mental illness and let people know they were not alone in this fight,” she said. “There is a shame that comes with mental illness, but there shouldn’t be.”

There is a shame that comes with mental illness, but there shouldn’t be.”

— Katie Ford

In honor of World Mental Health Day, Ford organized Break the Stigma, a panel that will feature speakers ranging from a licensed clinical psychologist, to the co-founder of a familiar organization to the community, Paws for Patrick, to a senior at LFHS sharing her personal experiences with mental health.  

“This event is what I felt the community, our culture, and the public needed: an event solely focusing on mental health and breaking the stigma on mental illness,” Ford said.

First held in 2019, but put on pause the following year due to COVID-19, the second annual Break the Stigma panel is sure to be a “wonderful, informative, and moving event for all ages,” as Ford puts it.

Break the Stigma is free to the public and will be held this Wednesday from 6:30-8:30pm in the John and Nancy Hughes Theater at the Gorton Community Center. Masks are required.

“Everyone has mental health, and every person is affected in one way or another by mental illness,” Ford said. “We are all in this together!”


Questions? Contact Katie Ford at [email protected].