Photo by: Theresa Carriveau

The Problem


There are so many issues as a result of mental health stigma. At the most basic, stigma discriminates and alienates people who are pretty rough on themselves already.

On a national level, we have a fragmented healthcare system which further alienates the mentally ill. We lack adequate mental health care professionals, and the ones we have are poorly distributed. With the baby boomers aging, medical staff are unprepared for the inevitable rise in the need for behavioral health services.

People of all ages are suffering and often don’t seek help. Their reasons vary from ignorance, lack of resources, fear of discrimination, and some are simply too ill to inquire about mental health care or assistance programs that may be available. This needs to be a problem of the past, and quickly.

The ACE Study shows how childhood trauma affects the course of a lifespan. The more trauma a person experiences as a child, the more likely that person will have serious physical and mental health problems as an adult.

The results of the ACE Study make healthcare for the mentally ill imperative since we know some health problems might be preventable if treatment begins at an early age.

It irritates me that it’s 2019 and much of society and our government view the mentally Ill as dangerous, criminal, and unable to live peacefully among everyone else. However, I understand the main problem is ignorance and lack of understanding.

Many people are suffering in silence due to fear of what will happen to them, how they will be treated, lack of resources and funding.


What Can We Do?


The solution is people working together to reach very attainable goals.

How do we achieve these goals?

Educate. Teach society what mental illness is and what it isn’t.

Talk about it.

Those of us with mental illness need to talk about our experiences. We need to get out to the voting booths next fall. We need to advocate for those suffering from mental illness so they can get the help they need and deserve.

Learn of bills being written or voted on in your area concerning mental health, then write letters to your legislators.

Mental Health stigma is a problem that has gotten better, but there is a lot of room for improvement. Let’s help people… WAKE UP!

3 Comments

  1. Pay attention to the media when they are covering a mass shooting. Within minutes they somehow think the shooter is “bi-polar”. It is disgusting!
    So Sarah, keep speaking out! Teach about it even if it is one person at a time!

    Like

  2. I’m glad you posted this, Sarah. I love that you provide specific steps to take that can help reduce stigma and ignorance of mental illness.

    Like

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