Each year, approximately 44 million American adults will experience a mental health condition – less than half will seek treatment due to stigma and discrimination.
Mental illness can manifest itself in many ways. From anxiety, to depression, to PTSD, self-harm, suicide, and more… the first step in providing adequate support is to understand the wide array of conditions that plague so many of us and to tear down walls created by misconceptions and misinformation.
In spite of the fact that the general view of mental health has improved over the previous decades, research demonstrates that shame surrounding mental illness is still prevalent, to a great extent because of media generalizations, absence of education, and the attachment of harmful stigmas to emotional wellness conditions at a far higher rate than others.
This unnecessary shame influences the number of individuals looking for treatment, as well as the amount of resources accessible for appropriate treatment. Disgrace and deception can be overpowering obstacles for somebody who is battling with a psychological well-being condition.
Here are some influential things you can do to provide support:
- Demonstrating regard and acknowledgment can go a long way to helping someone break down the barriers and begin to cope with their condition.
- Being viewed as an individual and not as a disease can have the greatest effect for somebody who is battling with their emotional wellness.
- Providing support and acceptance inside our own circles guarantees that those close to us have identical rights and opportunities as anyone else.
- Becoming familiar with emotional well-being enables us to help those influenced in our families and social networks.
- Reiterate and make clear that there is hope after diagnosis. Those inflicted need to know that, with proper care, mental illnesses are treatable.
Now, more than ever, mental health is at the forefront of our minds, from our education systems, to our workplaces. The consistent and open sharing of mental health messages and information in these places, will create a culture of free expression and boundary-less opportunities for support.
In honor of World Mental Health Day, consider the following:
What resources are available in your child’s school? How about your workplace for your employees? Could you be doing more to support those around you and ensure that you are creating a stigma-free, progressive environment?
If the answers to these questions are not clear, start the conversation – and as always, be kind to your mind.