The stigma attached to mental illness prevents a lot of people from seeking the help and treatment they need. Unfortunately, this fear of what other people may think can result in suicides, self-harm, and other tragedies related to mental health and mental illness.
Mental Health America of Lancaster County wants to rid our society of this stigma through education and continuous support for those who need it. While the fight against the myths of mental health continues, it’s important to know how to beat the stigma:
- Your mental health illness is NOT your identity. Don’t let anyone define you by what you are going through. You are not depressed, you are a person living with depression. You aren’t bipolar, you are someone who has bipolar disorder. Remember, mental illnesses are not adjectives.
- Join a support group. Instead of surrounding yourself with people who don’t get it, surround yourself with those that do. There are a ton of support groups out there, both online and in person. Counseling services are a great resource too.
- Speak out. A great way to beat the stigma is to make your own efforts to change the way people think. Don’t be afraid to talk about it with someone—bringing it up in conversation gives you a chance to tell the truth behind your illness. There are tons of people out there who don’t know what mental health is really about, you can be the person to lessen that number.