A 501c3 California Non-Profit Corporation
Mental illness and addiction are challenging society as never before. One in five Americans lives with a mental health condition. Youth suicide and substance abuse continue to rise at alarming rates. Yet social prejudice often forces those who struggle with these health conditions into the shadows, paralyzed by denial and shame, and often unwilling or unable to seek treatment.
Cameron Stout, an attorney and the founder of Stout Heart, Inc., is dedicated to changing this dangerous narrative. Six years ago, Cameron fell into the abyss of a suicidal depressive episode. Effective therapies, friends and family, and his own self-care strategies, lifted Cam out of the darkness. He began to speak out about his battle with major depression and his resilient recovery. Cam’s goal in telling his story was to bring hope to others fighting mental health challenges like his, and to break down the stigma they face.
The goal became a mission: Cam has now shared his story with over sixty audiences. They include attorneys, HR and wellness professionals, and students (including first years at Stanford and Harvard Law Schools). Cam’s message (concisely described in this linked video) is simple yet powerful: First, the stigma is false: Mental health conditions are just that; health conditions, not weaknesses or failure. They are not our fault. Second, there is tremendous hope for managing these health challenges, and leading full and vital lives.
Stout Heart, Inc., a 501c3 corporation, was recently formed to seek charitable support for Cam’s continuing efforts to tell his inspirational, healing story. He has recently become more focused on giving talks and doing related work on a pro bono basis to high school and college students, and other groups at risk to mental illness.
A detailed description of Cam’s journey is set forth in an article he wrote for the May 16, 2018 edition of The Princeton Alumni Weekly (Cam is Class of 1980). https://paw.princeton.edu/article/essay-how-i-survived-depression
Reach teens and young adults, and people in the workforce, to throw off the mantle of shame and denial, tell their own stories in a safe place, and get help.
Bring our message of hope and recovery to other groups including veterans, first responders, and people who are struggling on the margins of society.
Design and implement formal mentoring and support structures in academic institutions and other enterprises.
Build our team by adding a part-time staff member for research and administrative work.
“Courage is not the absence of fear or despair, but the strength to conquer them.” -Tibetan prayer flag
“[Cameron’s presentation] helped dissolve a lot of stigma. I was afraid I would lose my community if I shared my inner hurt, but he said sharing makes me braver. I felt brave for suffering alone, but I don't need to suffer in silence.”
“His courage through his journey is inspiring and encouraging. It makes me want to stand up and tell my own story.” -High school seniors at Castilleja School, Palo Alto, California