Why is it that K-12 students learn more about the moon and the tides than they do about how their own brain works? Why do we act as though seeking psychological help through counseling should be a closely guarded secret?
Public awareness of mental health issues, as well as people’s willingness to disclose their mental health challenges, seem to be at an all-time high, at least in Western societies. But as some of the stories on this page show, we still have a way to go before mental health conditions are viewed in the same light as other chronic health conditions. Fear and shame are still daunting obstacles for many, and untold numbers of people still suffer in silence. Stigma kills: a primary motivator for suicidal behavior is the belief that mental health conditions are shameful, and that those who have them are defective.
When I first started taking medication to help treat my bulimia, anxiety, and depression, I wanted desperately to get better. But I also wished I were “strong” enough to conquer my mental health issues on my own, without medication.
We are constantly told “it’s good to talk” and that stigma around mental ill health must be tackled. Both are true, but they are a beginning, not an ending. It is no good to talk if the person you are talking too does not know how to listen or how to respond.
There are worthwhile conversations to be had around the unique struggles that come with different illnesses. But I think those conversations can be had in a way that doesn’t undermine the seriousness of other disorders.
Destigmatization can sometimes be a bit more complicated than it might seem, and sometimes there are unintended consequences to goodhearted efforts at making the world a more just and kinder place.
Student government teamed up with Health Services to participate in iCare Week. The social media challenge put together by Student Government encouraged students to correct the stigma behind mental illness.
Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) launched India’s first mental health awareness campaign and website dedicated to young people, It’s Ok To Talk, through a series of talks and a multimedia exhibition in partnership with Instagram.
Disability is a disadvantage in society, and by not talking about it, it becomes even more so.
While those with serious mental health conditions who are accused in criminal trials may be accepted as not criminally responsible for their actions, the greater public isn’t so forgiving.
Psychiatrists and psychologists at the University of Basel and the Psychiatric University Clinics Basel (UPK) have examined how dangerous the general public considers mentally ill people to be and which factors influence this perception.
The more we inform our communities about the importance of treating mental health, the more we can prevent tragedies and help people live a fulfilling life regardless of their mental and emotional challenges. There is a need for Friday sermons across the country discussing our responsibility as practicing Muslims to treat ourselves and our families Read more
While there has been little academic study of the rate of mental health issues within Asian communities in the UK, mental health advocacy group Time to Change has published a report explaining some of the reasons why the topic carries such stigma. Read more.
A few of the missives addressed are: suicide barriers on bridges are ineffective; suicide is a selfish act; if a person talks about suicide, he or she won’t actually attempt it; and several more.
According to a new study published in Psychiatry Research, stigma and social support during substance abuse treatment are associated with several different aspects of psychological wellbeing.
Over three-quarters of young people say there is a stigma to mental illness and a quarter would not ask for help if they were suffering, a survey suggests.
Daphne Merkin is something of an authority on antidepressants — having relied on them for more than 30 years — but when the subject came up at a dinner party she attended a few years ago, she held her tongue.