Home » Ask Me About | Nancy Eigel-Miller

Ask Me About | Nancy Eigel-Miller

Founder and Director, 1N5

by Elizabeth Miller Wood

ASK ME ABOUT: The mission of 1N5 in light of May being Mental Health Awareness Month.

HOW DOES 1N5 REACH THE COMMUNITY WITH ITS MESSAGE TO “STOP THE STIGMA, START THE CONVERSATION?” We offer customized evidence-based training to schools and organizations. We also have a strong social media presence and release a weekly newsletter and self-care blog, and we attend hundreds of community events across Southwest Ohio. Since our inception, we have seen a 738 percent increase our school partnerships. In 2023, this education work impacted 186,000 students.

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS? Stigma can be defined as public stigma, self stigma, and institutional stigma. On average it takes 11 years for individuals with mental health challenges to begin to receive treatment. We believe stigma plays a role in this delay of care. There is no other health condition that we can imagine delaying treatment for years.

WHAT ARE THE BASICS OF STARTING THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS? We can approach mental health like we would any aspect of health. We all have a brain that controls everything in our body, so we need to take care of it. Talking about mental health is as simple as being vulnerable to ask questions and to share our personal experiences with mental health. The more we talk about mental health in a way that normalizes it, the easier it becomes to start future conversations. The key is to listen without judgment and ask questions with curiosity.