Help Stop Mental Health Stigma: Arm Yourself With Knowledge
It is important to arm yourself with knowledge so you can fight mental health stigma whenever you encounter it. You may be seeking this knowledge for many reasons: for yourself, for a family member, or for people you work around or interact with who have a mental illness. By seeking knowledge on mental health, you can stop stigmatizing beliefs on the spot when you encounter people who have misunderstandings or believe mental health myths. By arming yourself with knowledge, you can help stop mental health stigma.
Stop Mental Health Stigma with Accurate Knowledge
The first and most essential thing you can do to stop mental health stigma is to talk about it. Talking about mental health doesn't always mean opening up about your illness when you are not comfortable. It can mean simply seeking out accurate knowledge about mental health and mental illness.
Many people have false ideas that lead to stigma towards people with mental illnesses. One of the biggest myths about mental illness is that those who suffer from mental illnesses are violent. I learned early on in my treatment from a public information session that people with mental illnesses are rarely violent and are no more violent than the general public. Further, when most people with mental illnesses are violent, they are more likely to harm themselves through self-injury or suicide attempts. If you can open a dialogue with more people about stigma, you can pass this knowledge on and help stop stigma and ignorance about mental illness.
Gain Knowledge Through Classes and Books to Stop Mental Health Stigma
Some of the ways you can gain knowledge about mental illness and stop mental health stigma are to engage in open conversations with those who suffer and those who treat mental illness. There are also numerous agencies that can offer informational classes. I took a class put on by The Schizophrenia Society in my area, and also attended one with my parents put on by our regional mental health authority. These classes helped change my mind about my hopes for the future and made me feel more comfortable around other people who have a mental illness.
The classes opened my eyes to the fact that many others suffer from mental health stigma. Knowledge is power and sufferers have published many books in regards to the lives of people with mental illnesses that can help you gain the knowledge to fight stigma.
Gregersen, L. (2017, April 23). Help Stop Mental Health Stigma: Arm Yourself With Knowledge, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2017/04/help-stop-mental-health-stigma-arm-yourself-with-knowledge