SCHIZOPHRENIA AND THE CITY
Michelle Hammer is a Schizophrenia Activist and spends her time passionately fighting stigma. She is an NYC native featured in the WebMD documentary Voices, which was nominated for a Tribeca X Award at the Tribeca Film Festival 2018. Michelle was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 22 after a misdiagnosis of bipolar at age 18. At 27, Michelle decided to use her artistic talents and fearless personality to do something that could benefit the mental health community. In May 2015, she founded a mental health focused clothing brand. Schizophrenic.NYC is a clothing brand with the mission of reducing stigma by starting conversations about mental health. Michelle has also been featured in many publications such as Mashable, The Daily Mail, Stylist, and Buzzfeed.
Cecilia McGough is a New York City-based mental health activist, writer, media consultant, and radio astronomer. Cecilia also happens to have schizophrenia but does not let her diagnosis define her. Cecilia is the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Students With Psychosis and content creator for the I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia project. As a TEDx speaker and Special Books By Special Kids interviewee, Cecilia’s videos have been viewed over 20 million times over multiple platforms across the globe and featured in Forbes, Glamour UK, Barcroft TV, and CBS This Morning national news. Cecilia is an UNLEASH talent who traveled to Denmark in August of 2017 to be an active voice towards attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to make sure people with psychosis are represented. Cecilia continues to advocate for diversity in the workplace through The Valuable 500 and Lyfebulb. Also, Cecilia has been selected as the keynote speaker for the Schizophrenia International Research Society 2020 Congress. At the age of 17, Cecilia co-discovered PSR J1930-1852 leading to opportunities such as helping represent the United States in the International Space Olympics in Russia and also being a Virginia Aerospace Science And Technology Scholar through the NASA Langley Research Center. Cecilia’s story as a radio astronomer through the Pulsar Search Collaboratory can be seen in the documentary Little Green Men. In addition, Cecilia has been protesting and giving a voice for the psychosis community in the gun violence debate since 2018 by marching alongside 200,000 people in Washington D.C. for the March For Our Lives movement. In 2019, she co-organized the I’m Mentally Ill, And I Don’t Kill protest at Union Square, New York City. Together, we can change the face of schizophrenia.