Beat Mental Health Stigma

February 7, 2020 2:52 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Many addicts turn to alcohol and drugs to tolerate mental health conditions. The stigma with mental health issues often leads people to denial and avoid getting help. However, this never benefits quality of life and often holds people back from reaching their full potential. Mental health awareness is preferable to keeping these issues under a dark cloud, and will help those in Phoenix, AZ who suffer from these conditions seek treatment. Here are five ways to beat mental health stigma:

  • Talk openly: Those who suffer physical conditions are often open about sharing with people when they need extra help. Your mental health condition should be no different. You likely need more patience and support during rough spots. Mental health conditions are no different from physical ones like diabetes—you require treatment, and sometimes, you’re not able to accomplish everything you need to. Be open and talk about limitations when they arise.
  • Educate yourself: If you are diagnosed with a mental health condition, read up on it and follow the advice of your doctor. The best way to fear it less and learn how to manage it is to know more about it. This is also true if a loved one suffers from mental illness. Rather than withdraw, learn more and encourage communication. The more you know, the less likely you are to attribute the most negative interpretation to a diagnosis.
  • Encourage awareness: Many efforts against stigma need to occur on a community level. Host wellness panels in schools and at community centers. This gives people an opportunity to learn and realize that those who suffer mental illness are not to be judged or feared. Encourage wellness conferences that feature leaders in the mental health sector, and consider even having some fun with it. Other communities have success with open mic nights and other ways for young people to share experiences.
  • Do not judge: People with mental health conditions are not always at 100 percent. They may show mood swings, low tolerance for noise or bright lights and a tendency to change plans at the last minute. Even with medication and counseling, there can still be bad days. When you encounter these with your friends or loved ones, roll with it. Change plans, ask how you can help or give them space if they ask for it. Do not react with anger or frustration, as that will make it worse for everyone.
  • Call out stigma when you see it: Whether it is an off-putting remark from a colleague or a bad portrayal in the media on mental illness, call it out. You do not need to make it a large production—letters to the editor, emails to a broadcasting company and even Facebook reviews will point out errors without it being a giant effort on your part. These small actions can make a big difference in reducing mental health stigma.

Advanced Sober Living in Phoenix, AZ offers addiction and mental health recovery services for men. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment and sober living options.

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