Why do we ostracize people who don’t act “normal”?
The stigmas around mental health and how society treats people suffering from mental health conditions can have devastating consequences. We need to empower those suffering by reaching out and getting the necessary intervention needed.
To do our part and reduce the stigmas around mental health we need to create safer and more loving spaces for those struggling and for society to have more tolerance, understanding, and compassion.
Our own ignorance and fear may cause us to discriminate in treating those suffering differently and stigma may leave a person suffering feel “less than” others and worsen the symptoms.
Mental health stigma is a systemic devaluing in our society. It is the negative beliefs, actions, perceptions, and attitudes towards people who deal with issues about mental health that cause society to discriminate and ostracize those suffering.
A great tool to use is the acronym UNITE.
UNITE = Understand, Nurture, Include Others, Talk, Embrace
U: Understand. take the time to learn and understand. Understanding is the first key to ending stigma.
N: Nurture Mental Health. Just as important as nurturing your body, is nurturing your mental health- your emotions, and inner self.
I: Include Others. Inclusiveness is a critical part of reducing stigma. Include everyone, treat all as equals, and don’t discriminate.
T: Talk. Start talking, speaking up, and initiate the discussion. Shine a light on the realm of mental health so people can start thinking about it and focusing on it.
E: Embrace Therapy. There is no shame in therapy and seeing a therapist.
Let’s UNITE to end the stigma and discrimination we all face and live with more tolerance, understanding, and compassion.