Many of my blog posts from this week have been centered on mental health stigma. Now that we've explored the different types of mental health stigma and how we may unintentionally perpetuate it, I will discuss various ways that we can fight the stigma. Here are 5 ways that you can begin the fight against it:
Practice awareness towards any internalized beliefs that you have of mental health
As mentioned previously, we may be unaware of any biases that we may harbor towards mental health challenges. It is important that we are aware of this.
Be conscious of the language that you use towards mental health
Language can play a problematic role in the stigma of mental health. Refrain from using mental health disorders as adjectives or labels for people.
It is important that we educate ourselves on the struggles of mental health. Mental health challenges are something that most people have struggled with at one point or another. It is not a sign of weakness or failure. Often times, mental health related challenges are symptomatic of systemic issues.
Practice compassion towards those who may be struggling
Showing compassion towards those who may be struggling and being a safe person for them can make such a difference.
Have open conversations surrounding mental health
Having open and honest conversations surrounding mental health is the biggest way that we can fight the stigma. Experiencing mental health challenges can already feel incredibly isolating. Having open and honest conversations helps people to feel less alone in their struggles and reduces the stigma in reaching out for support.