For those who might not know, Sulome was one of Mona's best friends - and treated her like a sister, welcoming her to live with her for a period of time. A million thank you to Sulome for this touching article about Mona Daniella. Our entire family is so moved by Sulome's friendship and thoughtfulness. As they say in the Middle East, "Sharafnah" Sulome (= Arabic for "it's an honor").
From Sulome's twitter account (3 posts): "In 2015, I wrote a piece for @TheAtlantic about psychiatrists being unwilling to take on chronically suicidal patients. I used one of my best friends, Mona Haddad, as the primary subject, "Margaret." Mona killed herself last September. I miss her terribly. It's taken me over a year to be able to discuss this publicly. Mona was a brilliant, strong, passionate person. She wrote beautifully and cared deeply about justice. Had she lived, she would have been at the front of every protest today. More on her here http://www.monadaniella.com As she put it in my piece, "Nobody wants to work with someone like me. It’s a risk." I hope her story will continue to raise awareness about the difficulty of finding treatment for chronic suicidality. The world lost a very special light when Mona died & she should be remembered."
We believe Mona Daniella would have liked this interview with Kit Harrington (one of the biggest stars in the Game of Thrones) released yesterday, on August 7, 2017.
Mona Daniella was an activist who believed that mankind should work hard to Stop and End Stigma around Learning Disabilities, and Mental Health in general. Around a year prior to her death, Mona Daniella had been diagnosed correctly; she had OCD, and Non-Verbal Learning disability. This was after years and years of "wrong diagnosis/wrong treatment" and the "worse, worse, worse treatment for her condition" - as per her last medical team. Mona Daniella had told us that as parents of a child with a Learning Disability, and a mental health disorder, we had the duty to fight Stigma. The correct diagnosis and correct treatment helped Mona turn around and live a fulfilled life in her last year. She accomplished so much.
May she rest in piece, my late paternal grandmother, who was very wise, used to tell us this French saying frequently: "Si jeunesse savait, si vieillesse pouvait" (If youth knew, if old age could). How true. We have learned a lot in the past decade. If we only knew a decade ago ...
Like Mona Daniella, we do believe Stigma has no place in this day and age and needs to end. We live in an era where it is easier, more than ever, to get educated about learning disabilities, and mental health in general. The vast resources found in the Internet give people access to an industrial quantity of information. It is by learning that people can understand and hopefully have empathy.
Mona Daniella was a sensitive, gentle, kind, and caring person. She epitomized "Chessed", Loving-Kindness. She fought extremely hard. In a 2014 email I wrote to her that she was the bravest, the brightest, the most determined and the most resilient. Indeed she was. And much more.