Reducing the stigma of mental illness
May is Mental Health Month, which makes it the perfect time to get involved with the StigmaFree campaign. It’s an initiative by the National Alliance on Mental Illness to end the negative perceptions of mental illness and give hope to the millions of people struggling with it. At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, you’ll find compassionate, sensitive care for all your health concerns. If you’re struggling with a mental health disorder, such as depression or anxiety, consider talking to your family physician about your treatment options.
Understand the perceptions of mental illness
Living with a mental illness is hard enough by itself, but coping with the stigma of mental illness makes it even more challenging. Prejudice and stereotypes—and the real consequences that result—are problems that often occur because of a lack of understanding.
One of the most common false perceptions about people with mental illnesses is that they are violent. In fact, they are more likely to be the victims of violence or self-harm. Other false perceptions are that people with mental illnesses are:
- Childlike and dependent
- Of poor character or willpower
- Alcoholics or drug addicts
These stigmatizing attitudes can lead to social isolation.
Become aware of the problems that mental illness stigma causes
People with mental illnesses face social rejection, isolation and poor self-esteem, and they may begin to believe these false perceptions about themselves. In addition, mental illness stigma is associated with the following problems:
- Education, housing and employment discrimination
- Harassment or bullying
- Physical violence
- Reluctance to seek mental healthcare
As alarming as these consequences are, there is hope for the future.
Fight back against mental illness stigma
During Mental Health Month, you can help eliminate stigmatizing attitudes about mental illness by becoming better informed of the types, effects and prevalence of mental health disorders. Spend a little time educating your family and friends about the truth behind the stigma.
Learn to recognize the signs of common mental health problems. Give your wholehearted support to others who are struggling with these challenges. And if you experience mental health issues, know that your doctor is always available to help you overcome them.
At Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center , your health and quality of life are our highest priorities. Our caring team of physicians and nurses lives and works in the same Las Vegas communities as you, which means we are neighbors serving neighbors. Call our 24/7 nurse referral line at (702) 233-5300 and let us know how we can serve you better.