Removing the stigma of mental illness

My name is Victoria Navarro, and I have been a manager for Advocate Health Care in the Planning, Design, and Construction department in the south region for the past seven years. I am proud to say I will be competing in the Dancing with the Brokers event on May 23 where ten local real estate and construction professionals will come face-to-face in the ultimate dance competition for charity. Each of us will perform two dance routines with a professional dancer from Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Chicago and scored by a panel of professional dance judges. The top four dancers will benefit the charity of their choice. I am dancing for Advocate Health Care’s Behavioral Health Services Program.

I have been taking ballroom dance lessons for several months and have been committed to learning my choreography and practicing four days a week for two hours each day. Dancing has many physical and mental health benefits because it allows me to express myself creatively, focus on memorizing my steps, be aware of my posture and I get to meet a wonderful group of people to dance with socially. I am excited about this opportunity to dance in this competition and use the Dancing with the Broker’s platform to raise awareness for psychological, emotional and social well-being.

I am dedicated to removing the stigma of mental illness by sharing my personal story of battling depression, owning my life and not hiding from this world in shame. I am purpose driven and want to others to know they can live a meaningful life and learn to manage their mental health. I know how important it is for people who suffer from depression, substance abuse and other behavioral health concerns to talk openly about it so that they can seek the proper help they need. Advocate Health Care’s hospitals and outpatient clinics provide compassionate care in identifying and treating behavioral health conditions.

Thanks for letting me share my journey on one of the things I’m proud of in my life and I hope I can inspire you to be of service for change.  I enthusiastically want to support and improve our behavioral health services programs to continue comprehensive care for our patients. Please join me in becoming a collective voice of bravery, strength and persistence in standing up against stigma, facing mental illness and living an empowered life and donate today!