Mental health has been stigmatized to make people struggling feel alone. Many people feel invalidated or like their struggle is their fault. A lot of people never reach out or seek help. Millions struggle in silence because it is safer than being labeled or invalidated. Due to the lack of conversation and lack of education, the stigma has been able to perpetuate this cycle and narrative.
What can you do?
- Normalize the conversation about mental health with your loved ones.
- Talk openly and honestly about your own mental health.
- Own your mental health story, do not hide it.
- Discuss your treatment plan like you would with a physical illness—with honest and without shame.
- Ask people “how are you” with intention of listening and validating.
- Educate yourself by engaging in conversations, actively listening when others are opening up, and conducting your own research.
- Educate others around you.
- Pay attention to the words you use when you discuss mental health.
- Advocate for mental health to be treated like physical health.
- Treat your own and your loved one’s mental health like you treat physical health.
- Display empathy and compassion for those struggling.
- Validate people who open up about their mental health to you.
- Follow social media accounts normalizing mental health and reshare important information and resources.
- Volunteer with mental health nonprofit organizations to actively engage in work that destigmatizes mental health.