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Ways to End Mental Health Stigma

Ways to End Mental Health Stigma

Ways to End Mental Health Stigma

Mental health is a state of well-being that encompasses the emotional, psychological, and social aspects of our lives. If you have positive mental health, you have the ability to realize your own potential, work productively, manage the normal stresses of life, have healthy relationships, and make a contribution to your community. On the other hand, if you experience mental health problems, it could impact how you think, feel, and act, and this could severely impact other areas of your life. Approximately 1 in 5 adults, experience some form of mental illness in a given year. Mental health is a crucial part of the overall health, yet it is often a quiet topic of discussion. This is largely due to the stigma that has long surrounded mental illnesses. Mental disorders are actually quite common and there is treatment to help with recovery. The stigma, however, often prevents people from seeking treatment, which can isolate them even more and worsen their conditions. Below, we are discussing some of the ways to end mental health stigma.

Talk Openly About Mental Health

The importance of talking openly about mental health cannot be overstressed. Talking about mental health on a more regular basis uncovers the false notions that plagues this topic and when the myths are debunked, it  helps remove the stigma surrounding mental health.

Educate Yourself and Others

Education is a necessary component to ending mental health biases. Most stigma-related behaviour stems from a misunderstanding of the realities of mental health. Learning about the signs, symptoms and behaviours associated with mental disorders helps us recognize that these are treatable illnesses. It also increases our understanding of our own mental wellness. 

Be Conscious of Your Words

If your vocabulary is sprinkled with shaming language like crazy or psycho, you just make it harder for people to seek out mental health care. Being kind and respectful is the best way to help others come to terms with their mental illness. You should also use person-first language. Protect the dignity of people experiencing a mental illness by recognizing that they are a person first. Avoid labels like “bipolar.” Instead, say “a person experiencing a bipolar disorder.” When you are visiting with someone who has a mental illness, recognize the totality of their life by asking about hobbies, pets or interests, rather than focusing on their illness.

See Also
What is Anti-Social Personality Disorder

Show Compassion to the People with Mental Illnesses

Psychological research has shown that compassion greatly enhances emotional and mental wellbeing, and leads us towards living a happy lifestyle. Showing compassion towards people with mental illnesses is great. Talk about ways of de-stressing or practicing self-care and ask if they find anything helpful. Repeat what they have said back to them to ensure you have understood it. You do not have to agree with what they are saying, but by showing you understand how they feel, you are letting them know you respect their feelings.

Join a Support Group

A support group is a gathering of people facing common issues to share what is troubling them. A support group offers a safe place where you can get information that is practical, constructive, and helpful. You will have the benefit of encouragement, and you will learn more about coping with your problems through shared experiences. Hearing from others facing similar challenges can also make you feel less alone in your troubles.

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