Stop the stigma.

Start making waves today.

Make Waves is a movement that aims to stop stigma through stories. Telling your story can also give others hope, help you in your own journey, and demonstrate that mental illness can affect anyone and any family.

We understand that sharing your or a loved one’s experience with mental illness takes courage, so we want to make it as easy for you as we can.

You can choose to record alone or it may help to have a conversation with a friend or loved one. You can also choose whether to use your name or not; some people use just their first name.

To get started, we’ve put together suggestions for questions to ask yourself or others. How much you discuss is completely up to you. And we’ll never share your story without your permission first.

Story Prompts

Please refer to these prompts if you’re sharing your own personal story. (Scroll down for prompts in telling the story of a loved one’s journey.)

When did you first experience symptoms of mental illness? What did it feel like?

Do you have a few specific memories that you can describe?

Can you describe what it felt like in a way that someone who’s never experienced it can understand?

What was the moment you knew something had to change? Can you describe that moment and what it felt like?

What medical help have you sought? How has treatment helped you?

What has given you hope?

How does your mental health affect your family and friends? Have they been supportive?

What are the common misconceptions around mental illness, in your opinion?

If you could communicate one message about mental illness, what would it be?

Please use these prompts if you’re telling the story of a loved one.

When did your loved one first experience symptoms of mental illness?

How did they describe what it felt like?

How did it affect their life/work/school/relationships?

How did it affect you/your family?

What kind of treatment did they or have they received? How did it help them?

What gave them/you hope?

How did/does the stigma of mental illness affect them?

What are the common misconceptions around mental illness, in your opinion?

If you could communicate one message about mental illness, what would it be?

Submit your story

Thank you for taking the time to record your story. Please fill out the form below and attach your audio file.  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at makewaves@lindnercenter.org.

We collect your contact information only for verification purposes. We will not share any contact information publicly.

Need help with recording? Nearly every mobile device or computer has an audio recording function, or makes it easy to set one up. Click on your device below for specific instructions on what to do.

 iPhone or iPad  Android device  Mac computer  Windows PC

Recording on an iPhone or iPad
  1. Open the "Voice Memos" app.
  2. Tap the red Record button to start recording.
  3. Tap the same button to stop recording.
  4. Tap Done to name and save the file.

Recording on an Android device

The instructions below are general. The procedure may vary with each Android model. Some Android devices don’t have a built-in recording app, but all you need to do is download one from the Google Play Store. We’ve included instructions for models with and without built-in recording apps.

For Android devices with a built-in recording app:

  1. From your Home screen, tapApps , then Memo.
  2. Tap the Add icon (+)(located in the lower-right).
  3. TapVoice (located at the top).
  4. Tap the Record icon (red dot located below memo) to begin recording.
  5. Tap thesame icon to stop recording.
  6. From the Enter Title field, enter file name and tapSAVE (located in the upper-right).

For Android devices without a built-in recording app:

  1. Launch your downloaded voice recording app.
  2. Tap theRecord button to start recording.
  3. Tap the Pause button to pause recording.
  4. Tap Done to name and save the file.

Recording on a Mac with QuickTime Player
  1. Open QuickTime Player in the Applications folder.
  2. Pull down the "File" menu and choose "New Audio Recording".
  3. Click the red Record button to start 
  4. Hit the same button to stop
  5. Pull down the "File" menu and name and save the file

Recording on a Windows PC with Sound Recorder or Voice Recorder

If your computer does not have a built-in microphone, an external microphone must be attached.

  1. Press "Windows-Q" to open Apps. Enter "recorder" into search field.
  2. Select "Sound Recorder". Click "Start Recording" or press "Alt-S" to begin recording.
  3. Click "Stop Recording" when finished. Name the file when the Save As dialog appears. Click "Save."

Consent and Release Agreement

This Consent and Release Agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into as of the last date written below (the “Effective Date”) by and between the Lindner Center of Hope (the “Company”), and the undersigned individual (referred to herein as the “Releasing Party”). The Company and the Releasing Party may hereinafter be referred to individually as a “Party” or collectively as “Parties”.

WHEREAS, the Company desires to use and publicize the Releasing Party’s name, likeness, image, voice and/or other personal characteristics in connection with advertising, promotion and other commercial and business purposes, and the Releasing Party agrees and consents to such use by the Company.

NOW, THEREFORE, in exchange for the intangible value the Releasing Party will gain by participating in Company’s publicity programs and other good and valuable consideration, the Parties hereby agree as follows:
1. Releasing Party hereby irrevocably authorizes Company and its affiliates, successors, and assigns, and their respective licensees, advertising agencies, promotion agencies, and fulfilment agencies, and the employees, officers, directors, and agents of each and all of them (collectively, “Authorized Persons”), to publicly display, perform, exhibit, transmit, broadcast, reproduce, record, photograph, digitize, modify, alter, edit, adapt, create derivative works of, sell, rent, license, and otherwise use and permit others to use his or her name, image, likeness and appearance, voice, and other personal characteristics and all materials created by or on behalf of Company that incorporate any of the foregoing (“Materials”) on a perpetual basis throughout the world and in any medium or format whatsoever now existing or hereafter created, including without limitation on the Internet, and for any lawful purpose, including without limitation advertising, public relations, publicity, and promotion of Company and its affiliates and their businesses, products, and services, without further consent from or royalty, payment, or other compensation to Releasing Party.

2. Releasing Party acknowledges and agrees that Releasing Party shall have no right to review or approve Materials before they are used by Company, and that Company has no liability to Releasing Party for any editing or alteration of the Materials or for any distortion or other effects resulting from Company’s editing, alteration, or use of the Materials. The Parties acknowledge the Company has no obligation to use the Materials.

3. To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, Releasing Party hereby irrevocably waives and releases the Authorized Persons from all claims, demands, actions, suits, damages, and expenses, including but not limited to claims for defamation, invasion of rights of privacy or publicity, intrusion, false light, or any similar claim or cause of action in tort, contract, or any other legal theory, now or hereafter known in any jurisdiction throughout the world (collectively, “Claims”) arising directly or indirectly from the Authorized Persons’ exercise of their rights under this Agreement and the use and exploitation of the Materials, and Releasing Party hereby covenants not to make or bring any such Claim against any Authorized Person, and forever releases and discharges the Authorized Persons from liability under such Claims.

4. This Agreement is binding on my heirs, executors, successors, and assigns.

Hear the stories

Hear stories of hope from others who are making waves to end the stigma of mental illness.