What is Stigma Reduction?
Stigma is oppressive, heavy, and burdensome. Stigma is lonely, limiting, and dark; very dark. It keeps us from sharing who we are, what our truth is, where we come from, and what we need for fear of being marginalized or discriminated against. It keeps us from talking to our neighbors or friends about a struggling family member. It silences the voices of so many who need help because it so often leads to judgment, misunderstanding, and sometimes blatant prejudice.
Every day, we at Building Hope are striving to reduce stigma around mental health in our community. Not only are staff members and volunteers in the community speaking directly with others, but we also run a number of awareness campaigns around reducing mental health stigma. The hopeful messages are found on buses, greeting cards, radio discussions, and newspapers. Each step we take is a statement to ourselves and others that stigma has no power here. We refuse to keep this issue in the dark because in doing so, we perpetuate the idea that suicide and mental health issues are taboo and wrong to talk about.
“As someone who works…within the mental health world, I noticed an increase in interest in accessing therapy in the community.”
Stigma doesn’t just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking counseling, educating yourself about your condition, and connecting with others who share in your journey can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.
- 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness
- 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness
- 17% of youth (6-17 years) experience a mental health disorder
We can change the culture we live in to foster a greater sense of safety and support for those needing help with thoughts around suicide, depression, and major mental health issues. Armed with these tools we cannot fail to cultivate empathy, connection, community, and understanding.
For more information on stigma reduction, visit Imperfect.
Your donation can help us continue our stigma reduction efforts.
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