Inspiration Walk

Every year during May, Mental Health Month, the MHACC puts up signs in the community (this year, they were at JCC, Olean Campus) in order to promote mental health awareness. These signs display inspirational quotes from notable figures, many of whom have struggled for their own mental health. In order to make this inspirational words availible year-round, we have posted them below.

These quotes are meant to stimulate thought and conversation, to emphasize the importance humor, and most importantly to inspire individuals to fight stigma in our world.

The individuals quoted here come from all walks of life, times, and occupations. Regardless of your interests, you should be able to find a person on this list with whom you can relate. Where it is known, each person’s diagnosis is listed.



  • Cast from shackles which bound them, this bell shall ring out hope for the mentally ill and victory over mental illness. -Inscription on the Mental Health Bell (depicted in the MHA logo)
  • Man is not made for defeat. Ernest Hemingway, Author (Depression)
  • Winners never quit, and quitters never win. -Ted Turner, Television Executive (Bipolar Disorder)
  • Not everything that can be counted counts. And not everything that counts can be counted. ‘ Albert Einstein, Physicist (Possible Asperger’s Syndrome)
  • Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the deeper it sinks into the mind. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Poet (Substance Abuse, Presumed Depression)
  • He who has a why to live can bear almost any how. -Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosopher (Undiagnosed Mental Illness)
  • The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storms terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore. -Vincent Van Gogh, Artist (Presumed Bipolar Disorder)
  • If I can’t get through one door, I’ll go through another door ‘ or I’ll make a door. -Joan Rivers, Comedienne (Depression, Bulimia)
  • A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness. -John Keats, Poet ( Depression)
  • We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun. -Winston Churchill, Statesman and Author (Presumed Bipolar Disorder)
  • The more the marble wastes, the more the statue grows. -Michelangelo, Painter and Sculptor (Presumed Bipolar Disorder)
  • We do not attach ourselves lastingly to anything that has not cost us care, labor or longing. -Honore De Balzac, Author (Bipolar Disorder)
  • If there is anything a man can do and do it well, I say let him do it. -Abraham Lincoln, President (Depression)
  • If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Sir Isaac Newton, Mathematician (Presumed Bipolar Disorder)
  • By being silent about my mental illness, I was passing on the stigma. -Tipper Gore, Second Lady (Depression)
  • The greatest achievement of my life will be to tell the world my truth -Herschel Walker, Professional Football Player (Dissociative Identity Disorder)
  • I have the satisfaction of saying, ‘Been there, done that. -Lionel Aldridge, Professional Football Player (Schizophrenia)
  • Always laugh when you can: it is a cheap medicine. -Lord Byron, Poet (Presumed Depression, Bulimia)
  • We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance. Harrison Ford, Actor (Depression)
  • We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. Maya Angelou, Poet
  • Have faith in your own thoughts. -Brooke Shields, Actress (Post-Partum Depression)
  • Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world. -Judy Collins, Musician (Depression)
  • Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm. -Abraham Lincoln, President (Depression)
  • I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice. -Abraham Lincoln, President (Depression)
  • My recovery from manic depression has been an evolution, not a sudden miracle. -Patty Duke, Actress (Bipolar Disorder)
  • It’s toughest to forgive ourselves. So it’s probably best to start with other people. It’s almost like peeling an onion. Layer by layer, forgiving others, you really do get to the point where you can forgive yourself. -Patty Duke, Actress (Bipolar Disorder)
  • Your regrets aren’t what you did, but what you didn’t do. So I take every opportunity. -Cameron Diaz, Actress (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • It is hard to adapt to chaos, but it can be done. I am living proof of that: It can be done. -Kurt Vonnegut, Author (Depression)
  • Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance. Yonder palace was raised by single stones, yet you see its height and spaciousness. He that shall walk with vigor three hours a day will pass in seven years a space equal to the circumference of the globe. -Samuel Johnson, Author (Tourette Syndrome)
  • No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars, or sailed unchartered land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit. ‘ Helen Keller, Author & Activist
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will. ‘ Gandhi, Political Activist
  • Failure is not falling down; it is not getting up again. ‘ Mary Pickford, Actress (Alcoholism)
  • Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today. It’s already tomorrow in Australia. ‘ Charles Shultz, Cartoonist