Eliminate Stigma of Mental Illness
Stigma is one of the greatest barriers to seeking treatment and support for many people with mental illness. Eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness is a great start to helping ourselves and our loved ones to come out of the darkness of depression and into the light of recovery and wellness. But how do we do that… how do we eliminate the stigma? Here are a few suggestions:
- Talk about mental illness….share your story and encourage others to share theirs. By talking about it, you demonstrate to others that mental illness is nothing to be embarrassed about or ashamed of. The more mental illness becomes conversation, the less “secretive” and “shocking” it remains.
- Become an advocate by generating awareness. Write letters to local media and legislators, participate in awareness events (i.e., Kenneth Young Center’s WALK for the Mental Health of It!, Fashion Show, HouseWalk, Golf Outing, and other agencies events), speak in your church or a public forum, etc.
- Learn the facts and STOP false statements in their tracks. Providing accurate information and teaching others about mental illness will help alleviate the stigma.
- Be respectful to those suffering from mental illness. Consider your word choice and voice fluctuation when you talk about mental illness. By demonstrating respect and sympathy for others, you become a role model for the golden rule.
There are more ways you can help, but the key is to not be afraid to speak up. If the voice of everyone who reads this speaks up, and the voices of those who heard their message speaks up, and so on… that would be enough to eliminate the stigma in the minds of thousands of people. Start now by posting your comments in response to this blog… now is as good of time as any to start speaking out.
Learn facts about mental illness and prepare yourself for advocacy by viewing the following websites:
Entry filed under: Advocacy, Mental Health. Tags: advocacy, American Psychiatric Association, elminating stigma, facts about mental illness, HouseWalk, kenneth young center, Mental Health, Mental Illness, NAMI, SAMHSA, speaking out, stigma against mental illness.