Recovered mental patients and those under treatment who want to fight the stigma of psychiatric disorders will march with their "Heads Held High" in Tel Aviv on Tuesday. The second Mental Health March is being organized by Enosh, the Israel Association for Mental Health, which helps patients become rehabilitated in the community.
The marchers will carry signs saying: "The flu is infectious; mental illness isn't" and "If you get to know me, you'll be crazy about me!" - aimed at minimizing the stigma surrounding their conditions.
One who will be marching is Elliot Lazerwitz, a former immigrant from Missouri, married, a university graduate and working in his field. "I am also living with a psychiatric diagnosis once considered to have a pessimistic outcome, schizoaffective disorder," he said. "I want to show that it's possible to bounce back, to recover from serious mental illness. I feel I can speak on behalf of the over 100,000 Israelis who have been struck by mental illness as well as their families and friends."
The parade will set off from Kikar Rabin at 2 p.m. and pass through Rehov Ibn-Gvirol to Kikar Sportek, where at 4:30 p.m. an entertainment will be held featuring Si Hi-man, Yizhar Ashdot, Dan Toren and Dudi Levi. Recovering psychiatric patients with artistic abilities were selected to perform as well. Arts and crafts made by patients will be sold to benefit Enosh.