How Can I Help Reduce the Stigma Around Mental Health? - Brought To Reality

Reducing the stigma around mental health is an uphill battle, as it takes a collective effort amongst all of in society as a whole. Educating yourselves and others about mental health conditions, their causes, symptoms, and treatments can go a long way in building understanding. Gaining this knowledge and information is the first step in understanding mental health issues. 

Part of the struggle in overcoming this stigma is challenging the misconceptions and incorrect stereotypes that surround a lot of mental health disorders. However, gaining this knowledge is only part of the process. A big portion is also getting the word out – whether it’s positively influencing people through education, just talking about it with your peers, or delivering some positive reinforcement through messages onmental health apparel. There are a number of ways to get the word out and clear up some of the misunderstandings around these conditions.

Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About It

Initiating and participating in conversations about mental health amongst friends, family, and other members of your community can help create an environment of change. These conversations can create a safe space for open discussions, which helps break down the stigma. It encourages other to share their struggles without worrying about facing judgment or criticism. Sharing personal stories and experiences with mental health challenges can humanize these disorders, and show that it effects people from every walk of life. 

By bringing up these stories, whether they are comprised of your own experiences or someone else’s, it can challenge myths and other stereotypes. This can be a vehicle for delivering factual information, helping people gain a more thorough understanding of mental health. Of course, when talking about sensitive subjects that can go along with mental health, be mindful of your language. Avoid derogatory or stereotypical terms that might continue to reinforce those negative misconceptions. Always emphasize the person over the condition. For example, a “person with bipolar disorder” is more directed on the individual than simply calling them a “bipolar person.”

Give Support Where You Can

Another way to positively reinforce mental health awareness is to get involved. This can be through supporting non-profits or other businesses that work in the mental health space, or by simply supporting some of the various mental health initiatives in your community. By getting involved with these organizations – either on the local or national level – you’re helping spread awareness, and supporting the efforts of a local organization that deals directly with these challenges.

Volunteer your time, donate to the cause, or participate in things like awareness campaigns, fundraisers or other awareness events like walks. Supporting these efforts can help get across the message and get accurate information out there. There are a variety of events and causes in every community, and supporting them can validate their cause while showing support to those that are experiencing mental health challenges. 

Remember, reducting the stigma around mental health awareness is a long-term process that isn’t going to change in everybody overnight. This change happens gradually, but every bit of support can help make a difference in shifting how people think about these common disorders. For more information, reach out to Brought to Reality today.

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