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Brandon Marshall: ‘Mental Illness Today Is Like HIV 20 Years Ago’

Jan. 22, 2016 Huffington Post

NFL player Brandon Marshall has been far from silent on mental illness. In 2013, he was fined for wearing green shoes on the field as a sign of solidarity for those with mental health conditions. Now he’s even going as far as painting his nails green on national television, giving his advocacy the audience it deserves.

Marshall appeared on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Wednesday, where he not only sported the colorful look, he also had some wise words about the mental health community.

“Where we’re at today in [the mental health] community is where the cancer and HIV communities were 20, 25 years ago,” the New York Jets wide receiver told Colbert.

He’s right. Nearly one in four people worldwide will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lives, yet many people with conditions are stigmatized due to their illness. Marshall is part of a growing group of public figures who are using their platform for positive change.

Marshall, who has borderline personality disorder, founded the mental health organization Project 375 and recently launched a line of Under Armour products to help promote mental illness awareness.

He doesn’t want the 1.6 percent of American adults who also suffer from BPD to face the same stigma that he felt before making his condition public.

We need to accept that mental illness is a disease — and like any other disease, it needs stronger research, early screening and treatment, especially for young people,” he wrote in a HuffPost blog last year.

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