Effective ways to fight stigma
Effective ways to fight Stigma is defined as the social disapproval of particular conditions or behaviors for reasons that include but aren’t limited to: the person who has the stigma, associated behaviors and cultural ideologies.
This can include discrimination and prejudice that may evoke shame and guilt.
Stigma gives people reason to judge others, which we feel is more than just opinion — it’s based on stigma. We wanted to share some of our knowledge on stigma with you because you’re all important to us.
Stigma is something that has been around forever and it’s not going away anytime soon — we want to ensure we’re doing everything we can to fight stigma and its effects on those living with mental illness and substance use disorders.
Stigma and discrimination come in many different forms and it’s important to recognize stigma when we see it. [What stigma looks like: examples such as media, stereotypes, stigma associated with mental illness (like depression), stigma surrounding substance use.]
It can be seen in the way people talk about mental illness and substance use disorder — using stigmatizing language is hurtful, demeaning, and discouraging.
Personal accounts have been used by a number of mental health awareness organizations and others to raise public awareness and convey messages of optimism to persons suffering from mental illnesses. These often include dramatic accounts of patients’ experiences with mental illness. Lending “voice” to these accounts encourages others to talk about themselves and their own struggles, which furthers the anti-stigma message.
an effective type of message identified by research is the antidotal, in which the individual’s story emphasizes how he or she overcame adversity, for example.
We believe it’s essential to provide education about what mental health is and what mental illness does not do. While we can’t say anything for certain, there are a few things that have been talked about in the media that have lead us to think of a few effective ways to fight stigma:
There are many things that we can do to fight stigma, such as reaching out when mental illness or substance use disorder is relevant in the news and ensuring anyone in a crisis knows they are not alone.
Stigma can also be fought through everyday conversation with friends and family, saying that you’re there for them, providing someone suffering from mental illness or substance use disorder a place to stay when they need it, making sure you recognize the signs of mental health concerns in yourself or others.
We want to encourage everyone to take a look at how stigma may affect them so they can take the appropriate steps to fight against it. We want you all to know that we care about you and your mental health!
If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, please contact our doctors today.