Mental illness may be difficult to live with, but the stigma associated with it can be even more challenging. It’s time to let the light in to shine on those of us working hard every day to make the most of the hand that mental illness has dealt us. We all have the power to be stigma warriors.
Raise your voice
To bring an end to stigma, we need to speak up. Research has shown that the most effective way to fight stigma is for those of us living with mental illness to come out loud and proud, since it is contact with regular people with mental illness that has the greatest effect on people’s stigmatized attitudes..
If you want to reach a wider audience than you can on your own blog, these two posts have suggestions and links for places where you can share your story.
These are some of the organizations that promote dialogue around mental health stigma on a broader scale.
Posts on stigma
These are posts on Mental Health @ Home that focus in on the issue of stigma.
- Adventures in stigma in the ER
- #BellLetsTalk – What if the elephant in the room could speak?
- Book review: No One Cares About Crazy People
- Disclosing mental illness at work: The good, the bad, and the ugly
- Doing my bit in the fight against stigma
- How can we fight stigma most effectively?
- How do you respond to stigmatized language?
- Is there something wrong with behavioural health?
- Legislated stigma
- Should people in mental health crisis be handcuffed?
- Stigma and the pathologization of normal
- TED Talks on mental health stigma
- We have a message – how do we spread it?
- Why is Netflix jumping aboard the stigma train?
- Why psychosis scares people
Stigmatized beliefs re. violence
Sadly, there are still people who believe that mental illness increases the risk of becoming violent. This is especially apparent when politicians blame gun violence on mental illness. The reality is that people with mental illness are no more likely than anyone else to become violent, and are actually at increased risk of being victims of violence.
- Dead if you do, dead if you don’t? Weighing the risks & benefits of medications
- Prescription for Murder