Ways You Can Combat the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health
For years, mental health has been seen as a taboo topic. Many young boys have been taught to fear their emotions. Many young girls have been called hysterical for having perfectly normal feelings. Those suffering from mental illness were viewed as dangerous or weird.
Fortunately, the stigma surrounding the topic of mental health is slowly crumbling. However, the walls are still up in some people’s minds. The more we work to combat mental health stigma, the better chance we all have to live happier and healthier lives.
How Mental Health Stigma Can Be Harmful
The stigma surrounding mental health, mental illness, and emotions can harm everyone. Stigma can cause stereotyping and discrimination that prevents people struggling with their mental health from feeling safe, accepted, and able to support themselves. The fear of discrimination, judgment, and stereotypes has caused many people to suffer in silence from mental health issues that could be treated, negatively impacting their quality of life, health, and happiness.
Mental health stigma can cause people to shy away from talking about their feelings. This can lead to many issues, like relationship problems, inefficiency at work, and poor health.
These are only a few of the many ways that mental health stigma can negatively impact our world. You, your friends, and your family can all feel the negative impacts of mental health stigma. That is why it is so important that we all take a stand against mental health stigma.
Three Ways to Combat Stigma Yourself
Now that you know just how important it is that we all stand against mental health stigma, you may be wondering how you can even begin to do that. A few ways to combat stigma yourself include:
Your greatest weapon against mental health stigma is your knowledge about mental health. The more you know about the signs of mental illness, emotions, coping mechanisms, and resources available to you and your community, the stronger your fight against the stigma will be. (Recommendation: Check out our “You’re Not Crazy” podcast!)
Now that you have educated yourself, you can recruit others in the battle against stigma by spreading your new wealth of knowledge. Talk about the subject with your friends. Share reliable resources on your social media. Volunteer to speak about the topic to an audience. The more we talk about mental health, the weaker the stigma surrounding it becomes.
Reconsidering Your Own Behavior and Ideas About Mental Illness
Many of us were raised in a culture that stigmatized mental health and stereotyped mental illness. Because of this, our language, thoughts, and ideas about mental health may be a bit misconstrued. How often have you felt fearful of pursuing therapy, judging someone opening up about their mental illness, or throwing around hurtful rhetoric like “crazy” or “psycho”? Because of the culture of the past, those of us working to fight the stigma must reevaluate our own ideas about mental health. (Did we mention our “You’re Not Crazy” podcast!?)
If You Are Struggling with Your Mental Health
Many people struggle with mental illness. As a matter of fact, more than 1 in 5 people in the U.S. live with a mental illness. If you believe you may be struggling with a mental illness, there is nothing to be ashamed of. They are far more common than any of us can believe.
If you need mental health help, our compassionate, educated, and highly trained therapists are here for you. Reach out today.
Keywords: mental health stigma, mental health awareness, therapy, counseling