Most people who live with mental illness have, at some point, been blamed for their condition. They’ve been called names. Their symptoms have been referred to as “a phase” or something they can control “if they only tried.” They have been illegally discriminated against, with no justice. This is the unwieldy power that stigma holds.
Stigma causes people to feel ashamed for something that is out of their control. Worst of all, stigma prevents people from seeking the help they need. For a group of people who already carry such a heavy burden, stigma is an unacceptable addition to their pain. And while it has reduced in recent years, the pace of progress has not been quick enough.
Every day, in every possible way, we need to stand up to stigma. If you’re not sure how, here are nine ways you can fight stigma:
- Talk Openly About Mental Health
- Educate Yourself And Others
- Be Conscious Of Language
- Encourage Equality Between Physical And Mental Illness
- Show Compassion For Those With Mental Illness
- Choose Empowerment Over Shame
- Be Honest About Treatment
- Let The Media Know When They’re Being Stigmatizing
- Don’t Harbor Self-Stigma
You can read more here, then make a commitment to fight stigma.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or mental stress, text ‘Start’ to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. It’s free, confidential; and someone is available to talk to you 24/7. You can visit their website www.crisistextline.org for more information.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800-273-8255).
Or you can contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (800-950-6264) for support and local referrals.
You can also go to Mental Health America to find a support group in your area.
#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth #MHAM #MentalHealth #MentalWellness #YouAreNotAlone #HopeForToday