There's no need for shame when it comes to mental illness. Talk! The Join the Conversation campaign now in its second year.

The Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition held a morning breakfast Tuesday morning where a panel discussion focused on mental illness.

Lawyers, firefighters and others told their stories in hopes of breaking the stigma.

Allison Schroeder lost her brother to suicide in 2015. The Buffalo firefighter said she struggled with depression and had a suicide attempt.

Allison Schroeder
WGRZ

"I think there is a lot of stigmas in today's society and I'm just trying to get rid of them to help other people kind of deal with their depression and anxiety," Schroeder said. 

Annika Thomas, 22, battles depression. The journey has been long, but she is doing well. "The main thing that has gotten me through was speaking out and talking to more people who have mental heath issues, just the way we all connect with each other I think is important. I think without the support system that I have I wouldn't have been able to make it this far."

Annika Thomas
WGRZ-TV

Thomas is a youth peer advocate working with mental health advocates.

Those with a mental heath condition often delay seeking treatment up to 10 years.

Experts say it is important to remember to avoid words like crazy or nuts in our everyday language.

Click here for resources if you or someone you know needs help.