The video opens to a blank screen with a single character visible as the narration begins.
This is Johnny.
Johnny’s wardrobe changes based on possible characteristics.
Johnny can be a high school student, or a construction worker, or an office worker. Johnny can be an adolescent, a young adult, a father with kids, or an elderly man. Johnny has a mental illness.
Labels appear based on the specified mental illness and its stereotypes.
It could be schizophrenia. But instead of a person with schizophrenia, Johnny is seen as a schizophrenic person. Sometimes he is simply a violent person. A scary one. A dangerous one. Instead of Johnny the high school student, the construction worker, or the shopkeeper he is the psycho, the maniac, the first person you’d suspect if someone was killed under strange circumstances.
The screen clears and Johnny is once again generic.
Narrator: Or Johnny could have depression. But instead of a person with major depressive disorder, Johnny is a depressed person. Sad, pathetic, weak.
Offscreen A (as a speech bubble): Just snap out of it!
Johnny: I can’t
Offscreen B (opposite side of screen): It’s just a funk. Think positive and it’ll go away.
Johnny: I’ve tried, but it won’t.
Speech bubbles recede and Johnny is alone on screen.
Narrator: In both cases, Johnny becomes isolated. He believes what others think and say and becomes lonely, and most importantly, ashamed. Shame breeds secrecy. Secrecy will not help him. (screen darkens as Johnny hunches in on himself) He will continue to suffer from stigma and illness alike because no one knows of his plight--
Screen brightens to reveal Johnny surrounded by people
--except for the ones that love him most: his family. Johnny is a high school student; his brother protects him from bullies while his sister enlightens them. Johnny is a construction worker; his wife talks to the boss to ensure that there is a policy protecting his rights, and if there is none, she petitions for one. Johnny is a shopkeeper in his family business. His father, who handed down the store to him, makes sure all of the regulars are knowledgeable so no incidents occur due to ignorance.
Johnny’s family know first hand how much he has struggled--how much they have all struggled. To acceptance, to cope, to learn to see Johnny for who he is, not what he has. Family is the strongest and best suited advocate a mentally ill individual can have. Let them unite and fight mental illness stigma that should long have been eradicated.
Video ends with Johnny and his family, warm, protected, and happy.