You or your loved one may be struggling with mental health issues, and it’s common to feel like you’re dealing with these issues all alone. Most people are afraid to share their mental health issues with other people, even their own doctors, so they end up trying to deal with these issues alone. That’s because of the stigma that still exists surrounding mental health, leaving people to feel like they still can’t talk about it. Instead of dealing with these issues alone, here are some important tips to carry with you to help improve your situation.

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Exists

Despite the strides that have been made to improve awareness of mental health, there is still a stigma attached to it. Even discussing thoughts of attending a partial hospitalization program can be met with confused looks. There is still discrimination held by the general public that those with mental health issues are responsible for them or that those with such issues are more dangerous than others.

This, in turn, leads to people not wanting to talk about their concerns and keeping it to themselves, further compounding the problem.

Mental Health In Media

The news, films, and TV shows have often depicted mental illness as making a person dangerous. Research has shown that news outlets are more likely to cover crimes committed by people with mental illness than the same crimes committed by those who haven’t been formally diagnosed. The most common depictions of people with mental health issues in popular media include being “psychopaths,” homicidal, or being responsible for their mental illness.

The Family’s Role In Mental Health Stigma

Family members of those who have mental illness also experience their own stigma from the general public. It’s common for society will blame the family for causing a loved one’s illness; it’s also common for the family members to blame themselves too. Even if just one person experiences mental health issues, the whole family will feel the impact of it.

What Can Be Done To Reduce Mental Health Stigma

There are three important ways that the stigma surrounding mental health can be fought:

  • Educate yourself and others about mental illness
  • Interact with people who experience mental illness
  • Protest against the unfair depictions of mental illness

Although the media has mostly contributed to mental health stigma, it can also be used to spread awareness and positivity so that this stigma can be reduced and eventually eliminated. If more and more people start to adopt this stance and make a concentrated effort to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, then it will set up a better precedent for people in the future to see the help they need for their mental health.

Judgment and shame typically surround mental health, so most people keep their thoughts to themselves in order to avoid being judged by the rest of society. It doesn’t help that the media, communities, and our own self-image prevent us from getting out from under the stigma. but by helping people to not feel alone during these vulnerable moments, more people may start reaching out for the help they’re looking for.