False beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems. What can you do about stigma?
Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that’s thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype). Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common.
Stigma can lead to discrimination. You may even judge yourself. Some of the harmful effects of stigma can include:
- Reluctance to seek help or treatment
- Lack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers or others
- Fewer opportunities for work, school or social activities or trouble finding housing
- Bullying, physical violence or harassment
To help cope, view the article MENTAL HEALTH: Overcoming the Stigma and read the list of ways to help deal with stigma.
How do you fight stigma?
- Talk openly about mental health
- Be conscious about your words
- Show compassion for those with mental illness
- Be honest about treatment
- Encourage equality between physical and mental illness
Link to the original article: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mental-illness/in-depth/mental-health/art-20046477