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Nonprofit CEO Keshia Dennis fighting the stigma of mental illness

Keshia Dennis, the founder and CEO of The Elephant in the Room Inc. (Photo by Simeon Kelly)

The Elephant in the Room Inc. is a nonprofit started by Keshia Dennis, a 31-year-old
Georgia native. Dennis is tackling mental health issues and trying to erase the stigma associated with mental illness through her nonprofit’s initiatives. Read on to learn more about Dennis’ goals for The Elephant in the Room Inc.

What was the driving force for creating The Elephant in the Room Inc.?

I saw a need for people that publicly and privately struggled with mental health conditions. Not enough people were talking about it and not enough people were brave enough to stand up to the stigma associated with mental health. At a young age, I struggled with really bad anxiety. I didn’t share it with anyone because it wasn’t something that people were openly discussing. Over a decade later, I’m still seeing more and more people struggling. I want to help as many people as I can by bringing awareness to mental health so that we can eliminate suicide as an option.

What does the name of your nonprofit represent?

The Elephant in the Room is the perfect idiom to represent mental health. Mental health is a huge elephant. It’s an obvious risk and obvious problem that we all see but no one wants to address it. Mental health is such a taboo subject and we’re afraid to express how we really feel.

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