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Stop the Stigma

Common mental illness stereotypes: violent, unpredictable, unreliable, incompetent, weak character

Inaccurate & Damaging Mental Illness Stereotypes

Stereotypes are a way that we store knowledge about social categories. When a category is considered by society to be deviant, such as the group of people who are mentally ill, members of that category tend to be viewed as a homogeneous group that is accurately represented by stereotypes. There may be a grain of …

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The benefits of peer support for mental illness, including self-stigma reduction

The Benefits of Peer Support for Mental Illness

Self-stigma, which comes from public stigma that’s been internalized, can have a significant negative impact on those of us living with mental illness. Peer support can help to reduce self-stigma, and I wanted to explore that and some of the other benefits that research has shown. Peer support can happen in a lot of different …

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Political advocacy to challenge mental illness stigma

Political Advocacy to Challenge Mental Illness Stigma

A lot of us in the mental health blogging world are already engaged in advocacy in terms of raising awareness, providing information, and supporting others living with mental illness. There’s another kind of advocacy, though, that many of us (including myself) don’t typically engage in, which is political advocacy. Quorum.us says “Political advocacy is an …

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A Brief History of Stigma: I am mentally ill and I am also... - circle of puzzle pieces

I Am Mentally Ill, and I Am Also… So Many Other Things

I am mentally ill, and I am also a lot of different things. But do people see all of those things, or mostly just the illness? We all have many different identities associated with all the social roles that we play; not identities as in personalities, but bundles of knowledge, expectations, patterns of behaviour that …

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How effective are awareness campaigns? - graphic of a megaphone

How Effective Are Mental Health Awareness Campaigns?

We’re surrounded by awareness campaigns, particularly health awareness campaigns. In the US, the number of designated national health awareness days had reached 200 by 2015 (Purtle & Roman, 2015). In 2017, the Stanford Social Innovation Review published an article titled Stop Raising Awareness Already. Pointing to the great many awareness month designations all for a …

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Recovery-oriented practice and mental illness stigma

Recovery-Oriented Practice and Mental Illness Stigma

Unfortunately, mental health professionals are a major source of stigma towards people with mental illness. Recovery-oriented practice is one possibility for transforming mental health care into a less stigmatizing place, so let’s talk about what that might look like. What recovery is Personal recovery, also known as psychosocial recovery, is a different can of tuna …

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Is it useful to talk around mental illness?

Is It Helpful to Talk Around Mental Illness?

Mental illness can involve feeling really crappy and having a lot of difficulty functioning. That’s not the experience of everyone with mental illness all of the time, but it’s there in the mix somewhere. Yet sometimes it seems like people want to avoid the ugly bits, and talk around mental illness rather than talking about …

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Stigma, word policing, and targeting the wrong audience: graphic of tree with dialogue bubbles

Stigma, Word Policing, and Targeting the Wrong Audience

Stigma is a social phenomenon that encompasses stereotypes, prejudiced attitudes based on those stereotypes, and discriminatory behaviours. There are a lot of anti-stigma advocates, both organizations and individuals, focusing on word usage and what to say or not say about mental illness. This is sometimes referred to as language policing or word policing. Sometimes, those …

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