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Published On: February 24, 2023|Categories: Mental Health|

Millions of people struggle with mental illnesses every single year in the United States alone, and according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, more than half of them will never receive the treatment they need.

There are many contributing factors to why this, but one of the root causes continues to be stigmas around mental health. Despite all of the progress the mental health care community has made with eliminating much of the publicly spread misinformation, stigmas continue to circulate down through generations and can be especially prevalent within certain cultural and religious communities.

While we might not be able to ever eliminate mental health stigma, we each can play a role in significantly reducing the perpetuation of this harmful habit. The more we can heal negative attitudes and beliefs around mental health problems, the more people can receive proper treatment, recover and ultimately, thrive.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the stigmas around mental health as well as give you some examples of stigma in mental health to better equip you to help end stigma.

How does stigma affect mental health?

One of the biggest impacts of stigma is how it affects our mental health.

Stigma can lead to delayed or inadequate treatment, and social isolation, both of which can lead to low self-esteem, and the development of a predominantly negative or cynical view of oneself or the world. Our mental health affects every area of our life, this isn’t to be taken lightly.

Individuals whose mental health is suffering due to stigma are known to experience deterioration in their relationships, employment and overall quality of life.

Examples of stigma in mental health

People experience different forms of stigma and varying degrees of severity, so it’s important not to dismiss someone’s experience just because it might not be what you imagined it’d be.

The most common stigmas around mental health are:

  • Blaming the individual suffering for these issues
  • Negative attitudes and stereotypes
  • Discrimination in employment, housing, healthcare and education
  • Shaming or ostracizing from social activities
  • Bullying from peers or colleagues

These are just a few examples of the many different ways mental health stigma can manifest. Stigma can also lead to additional challenges in a person’s life, including unemployment, poverty and even various diseases and other physical health problems.

With the right tools and resources, though, we can significantly reduce the stigma around mental health and help more people receive the treatment they need to live their best lives.

How can we end mental health stigma?

We all have a role to play when it comes to ending stigmas around mental health.

Some of the ways we can reduce mental health stigma include:

  • Promoting awareness around mental health
  • Increasing education about the signs and symptoms of common conditions
  • Challenging misinformation and negative stereotypes
  • Encouraging open communication and support to those struggling

One of the simplest steps we can take is to not shy away from seeking or encouraging someone to seek professional help. The more we normalize receiving care for mental health, the less of a “big deal” it will be for those who are experiencing embarrassment or shame around doing so.

If you or someone you love is struggling with anxiety, depression, or the mental repercussions of a traumatic relationship or experience, let us help you begin to heal. Send us a message today.

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High Focus Centers offers in-person and teletherapy options for mental health and substance use treatment so you can receive the care and support you need from the comfort of your home.

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