Article 25

Archive for October, 2011|Monthly archive page

Just a Group of Friends

In Uncategorized on 10/22/2011 at 1:56 pm

Ronald Williston leads a support group for people who have mental illness. Photo by Gregory Flannery.

Mental illness is nothing to be afraid of

By Gregory Flannery

Ronald Williston of West Chester is unabashed in saying he contends with mental illness. He says he has dyslexia and hyperactivity disorder and “a little bit of obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

“But I’ve got the good kind of hyperactivity disorder,” he says.” I clean, sometimes with a Q-Tip. But it’s sanitary. I hope you’re pleased with the way the apartment looks. Everything in my house is clean. There is no dirt, no bugs. The misconception is that people with mental illness are homeless or can’t take care of themselves.”

Williston, 46, knows firsthand the trials endured by people with mental illness.

“My whole life I was picked on, bullied and made fun of,” he says.

Far from feeling a victim, however, Williston spends his days working to advocate on behalf of people with mental illness. He is the moving force behind the Friends Group, a support group in Hamilton, Ohio, for people who have mental illness. Now in its seventh year, the Friendship Group meets at St. John Methodist Church in Hamilton.

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