Mental Health Awareness: 5 Ways You Can Break Stigmas Surrounding Mental Illness
Although mental health is becoming a topic that is more open for discussion, there are still many stigmas that prevent individuals from being supportive to those with disorders; this lack of support can be very damaging, with many people experiencing worsening of symptoms, self-stigmatization, further depression and suicidal thoughts, and more. By breaking these stigmas, we open the doors for clarification and understanding – leading our family, friends, and those in our community to feel more heard, supported, and respected. This Mental Health Awareness Month, start dispelling the myths that hold people back from understanding one another. Here is what you can begin doing today:
- Educate yourself. It all begins with yourself – what do you currently know and believe about mental disorders? Get information about the several types, the warning signs and symptoms, and treatment that is needed for each time. In doing this, you already have the facts – this can help you when someone around you may be perpetuating information that is false.
- Educate others. For your loved ones who have genuine questions, having the correct information means that you are now able to tell others; casual conversations regarding mental illness could help dispel some misinformation your friends and family may have received when they were younger. In turn, the chain of trustworthy information begins.
- Gently correct. Gently correct those around you when they state something that isn’t true about a mental illness. For example, if someone near you says, “I wouldn’t want to go near a person with [X] disorder. They’re dangerous.” You could respond with, “Actually, it’s funny you mentioned that because I just recently found out that people with [X] disorder are more likely to harm themselves than other people. It makes sense, now that I think about it.”
- Change the way you talk about mental illness. Learn to catch yourself if you say certain phrases or talk about mental illnesses in a way that perpetuates negative views. You may even wish to replace that phrase with something else. For example, if you’re used to saying, “the weather is so bipolar” consciously change it to “the weather has been changing so drastically lately”. Previous research has shown that our language depicts our beliefs, attitudes, and values – start with your own habits to begin combating stigma.
- Incorporate mental health awareness into your daily life. Whether it’s morning meditation, yoga, journaling or something else, act in your daily life to promote your own mental health; it will encourage others to investigate their own mental health, too.
Therapy is a primary component of treatment for rehabilitation from a substance use disorder and/or mental health disorder. Attending treatment with certified clinicians and counselors is critical for a full recovery. At one of New Vista Behavioral Health’s treatment providers, you are receiving exceptional care, held to a higher standard. Our programs result in better outcomes, ensuring a better recovery. For information call us today: 888-316-3665.