How to Stop Mental Illness Stigma

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Mental illness is sometimes whispered when mentioning its name.

Some people laugh about mental illness, making fun of the people who live with mental illness, even putting it in part of a comedic routine or musical number.

There is absolutely nothing funny or entertaining about mental illness.

We need to stop mental illness stigma.

We need to increase the dialogues and communication about everything related to mental illness, speaking and writing wisely, kindly and compassionately about mental health, mental illness, suicide prevention and mental illness stigma.

My theory is that if we start talking more openly, honestly and more often about mental illness, people will become more comfortable speaking about mental illness. When dialogues about mental illness increase, people’s understanding and knowledge about mental illness will increase and improve.

When people are more educated about mental illness, they will become more kind, accepting and compassionate towards people with mental illness. When mental illness becomes an illness that is more accepted and treated just like any other illness, then more people will seek help and get the necessary treatment to fight mental illness.

It is imperative to learn and know everything that mental illness is, and everything that mental illness is not.

Part of the stigma of mental illness is due the myths about mental illness and poor word choices used to speak about mental illness and suicide. Let us break the myths and teach society everything they need to know about mental illness.

Let’s get the facts straight.

Use correct word usage and terminology,

when speaking about Mental Illness.

Here are four of my pet peeves I would like to clarify:

  1. Everyone has mental health, but not everyone has a mental illness.
  2. Bipolar disorder or bipolar disease, as I believe it should be called, is my primary mental illness. Bipolar is not a mental health ISSUE. I have an ILLNESS or a disease of my brain. My mental illness is not an issue. When mental illness is referred to as a mental health issue, that minimizes the nature of mental illness. Mental illness can be a very severe and morbid illness, and is beyond an issue.
  3. People die by suicide, they do not commit suicide. People commit crimes, and suicide is not a crime, in any way shape or form.
  4. In my opinion, people who die by suicide, actually die from a mental illness. Suicidal ideations and suicidal thoughts can be a serious symptom of mental illness, and can also, unfortunately, be caused from a severe side effect or adverse reaction from some mental illness medications.

Talk, Walk and Block Mental Illness Stigma

Talk the talk… 

Talk about mental health, mental illness, suicide, suicide prevention, and stigma.

Walk the walk…

Walk proudly as a mental illness survivor and/or a mental illness advocate.

Block the mock…

Block the mocking of mental illness before it happens.

Stop mental illness stigma and save lives.

Be part of the change to change minds…

~written by Sue Walz

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Shine a Light on Mental Health

Mental illness is often characterized as an invisible illness. So, BC2M’s Student Ambassadors have found a way to visually demonstrate that it touches us all.

BC2M Student Ambassadors Lead the ‘Light It Up’ Activity

Why We Highlight Mental Health

The pervasive stigma that surrounds mental illness silences too many of us. It makes us believe that we are alone in our experiences. It makes us scared to open up and, if necessary, to seek help. It makes us feel ashamed and afraid.

BC2M is dedicated to raising mental health awareness in order to eradicate this stigma. We do this through creating spaces for us to share and learn and connect. And, we do this by showing that we are all in this together.

To remind us of the prevalence of mental illness, and to showcase our unity, our BC2M Club Members lead their schools and communities through ‘Light It Up‘. The activity uses a series of questions to illustrate just how prevalent mental illness is in all of our lives. And, it reminds us that, together, we will start and continue the conversations that will save lives.

Together, we will erase stigma, make a change,

and illuminate mental health. 


Copyright © By Susan Walz and myloudbipolarwhispers.com – All written content and personal artwork is © myloudbipolarwhispers.com and Susan Walz. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner/artist is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Loud Bipolar Whispers and/or Susan Walz with appropriate and specific directions to the original content.  (With the exception of the “Bring Change to Mind – Shine a Light on Mental illness” article and video.)


 

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