Stigma against mental illness creates many obstacles. Individual who experience mental illness face discrimination and prejudice in almost all aspects of their lives. Here are some steps that we can take to reduce stigma against mental health.
Talking openly about mental health
The discussions on mental health is usually done in a very hush-hush manner which constrains individuals suffering from any distress to seek help. Mental health needs to be discussed openly to reduce the stigma attached. Talking openly about Mental illness will also give courage to the individuals who are suffering from mental distress to seek professional help.
Making sure that mental health is given as much priority as physical health.
There is no debate over the fact that mental health is not given as much priority as physical health. When you have a broken leg everyone can see it however, when someone is feeling low, others just have to take their experience into consideration, which is often mistaken as attention seeking.
Teaching kids and adolescents about mental health.
The first and most effective type of learning is through observation. Children learn a great deal through the actions and behaviour of others around them. A child’s behaviour is usually a reflection of how individuals closest to them react or behave. It is very important to sensitize children about what mental health is, why we face mental distress and why it is important to take care of it.
Making sure that adjectives of mental illness are not used as a daily word.
Due to the common usage of words like “depressed” “insomnia” “bi-polar” and “anorexic” without any or little context, it is not taken very seriously. When someone actually suffers from mental distress, it is not taken very seriously people around them believe that it is not a very big deal.
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