RJ Thornton wrote an anonymous piece for the campaign in the May launch of the campaign, “Being Called Crazy Is Not Being 5150.”
The next month she made the difficult choice to come out of the mental illness closet and posted her story on a new blog and on her personal Facebook page. Most people she knew didn’t know she lived with bipolar disorder with psychotic features.
Today you know her as NAMI Fresno’s Walk Manager and might have heard her speak at last year’s NAMI Fresno Gala, the night before her big test to get into law school. (BTW, she got in!)
You know — the one where Rhonda flipped everyone off at the dinner (#middlefinger2stigma and 51 Fifty Energy Drink) after her speech and everyone applauded? That was totally awesome moment BTW. Fuck Stigma!
She’s reached out to break stigma with 240 CHP officers by sharing her story — and then she ends it with that salute to CHEERS for her and JEERS for 51-Fifty Energy Drink. Lots of promises to flip off the delivery vans too. (lol)
I’m not sure how many EMT and behavioral health folks she’s spoke with now. (A lot lot lot – that is for sure) and so many other community in-person speaking events.
You see officers and EMTs are a part of our first-line of help. 5150 calls can be dangerous to everyone involved. These folks put their life on the line to help — and it’s not a joke.
Those of you who hear her Rhonda’s story now may not realize, because she’s always so confident appearing, that this time last year she was living in secret and fear of stigma.
You know what I say? Woooohoooo Rhonda — greatest success story to come out of this campaign to date!!! So proud of you and #middlefinger2stigma muthafuckas!
You’re going to rock law school and your peers are going to have such an incredible resource in the community when you start practicing mental health law. stuff. with important acronyms after your name too. That fucking last-name monologue with a tongue twist in the middle — yeah, that one is going to be embossed on so many letterheads!
(This series is in random order with both date and weight of perceived importance.)