Mental illness indirectly affects ALL of us at some time through a family member, friend or colleague. It affects people of all ages, educational and income levels and cultures. More alarmingly, suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
Mental illness CAN be treated effectively. Many say that living with the stigma is worse than living with the illness. Stigma creates a barrier and often discourages people and their families from getting the help they need.
BUT there is HOPE.
Over the past 30 to 40 years things have changed with a move to keep people out of hospitals and living in their communities. Here is how you can help combat stigma:
STOP Stereotyping people with mental illness
STOP Trivializing or belittling individuals
STOP Offending people by hurting or insulting them
STOP Patronizing people with mental illness
And this starts by learning about mental illness. Thank you for taking the first step.