It’s a fact, one in five Canadians will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lifetime. BellLetsTalk
One of the biggest hurdles for anyone suffering from mental illness is overcoming the stigma. It is the number one reason why two-thirds of those living with a mental illness do not seek help. BellLetsTalk
Stigma is defined as the association of negative character with a certain group of people leading to their devaluation in society through discrimination. It also can be defined as the marginalization and ostracism of individuals because they are mentally ill.
Let’s us try to avoid using these harmful labels that are shown below, that “roll off the tongue”, without being recognized as feeding mental health stigma.
“Are you stupid?”
“You must be mad.”
“That sounds crazy.”
“Have you lost your mind?”
“You are driving me up the wall.”
“You don’t have all the marbles.”
“You are driving me bonkers.”
“You have a screw loose.”
“He or she is attention seeking or has issues.”
“Did your mother drop you on your head when you were born?”
These are words or phrases that you can learn on any given day, as a part of normal conversation.
It’s time to change our conversation.
- Bell Lets Talk Canada – Five (5) simple ways to end the stigma and start a conversation
- Mental HealthPlatform Canada – What is Stigma
- NAMI America – You are Not Alone
- Time to Change UK – Let us End Mental Health Discrimination
- Why mental health in the workplace matters
Note: If you or someone you know are struggling with mental health issues, please contact a doctor; go to the nearest hospital or emergency services in your area, to get professional help.
Please avoid using words like crazy, wacko, loony, or nuts, or labelling someone by their diagnosis; e.g. schizophrenic. Treating people with mental illnesses like you would anybody else demonstrates respect for differences and dignity.