About FACEing Mental Illness

Carrie Seidman’s world — and life-long career as a daily newspaper journalist — changed radically when her only child was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after a major psychotic episode. That’s when the personal began to influence and fuel her professional work and ambitions.

As the newspaper industry was contracting and Seidman was forced to move across the country to continue her career, she was also navigating an inadequate and fragmented mental health system trying to obtain care and treatment for her son in Florida, which trails the nation in mental health funding. That journey became the basis for “The S Word,” her series for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on schizophrenia, which won Mental Health America’s 2016 national media award.

Subsequently, Seidman was selected as a fellow of the Carter Center for Mental Health Journalism and conducted a year-long art/journalism community engagement project, “FACEing Mental Illness,” aimed at reducing discrimination against and misconceptions about individuals with mental health challenges. The award-winning project resulted in a book, as well as a documentary film that premiered at the Sarasota Film Festival.

After three years as the lead metro columnist for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, where her advocacy around mental health and community engagement continued, Seidman left the paper in December of 2020, launching this platform to expand the reach of her audience and advocacy nationwide.

The FACEing Mental Illness newsletter and podcast have three primary goals: normalizing mental health challenges and eliminating misconceptions about and discrimination against those who experience them; empowering individuals with lived experience as educators and advocates; and accumulating a nationwide anecdotal data base of best practices to help individuals in recovery achieve a holistic well being.

Carrie Seidman has been a reporter, critic, columnist and journalist for daily newspapers for more than 40 years. A graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism, she previously worked for the New York Times, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, Albuquerque Journal and Albuquerque Tribune. She is currently at work on a book about her son’s journey to wellness and lessons learned from her ongoing involvement with the mental health community.

Seidman is a two-time breast cancer survivor who enjoys ballroom dancing, yoga and walking marathons. She lives in Sarasota, Florida.