May is Mental Health Month, designated to raise awareness and spread the word about why mental health is just as important as physical health. Unfortunately, the stigma of mental illness persists in our society even today.
Approximately 43.8 million U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. According to Psychology Today, one out of five Americans who struggles with a mental health condition will not receive the treatment he or she needs.
There are many reasons why people don’t seek treatment, including stigma and fear of discrimination. We must all work to eliminate the stigma around having, and seeking treatment for, mental health conditions.
This National Alliance on Mental Illness blog post shares these ways to help fight stigma:
- Talking openly about mental health
- Educating yourself and others
- Being conscious of how you use language
- Encouraging equality between physical and mental illness
- Showing compassion for those with mental illness
- Choosing empowerment over shame
- Being honest about treatment
- Letting the media know when they’re stigmatizing
Everyone knows the symptoms of the common cold or the home remedy for the stomach flu. While mental illness might not have physical symptoms, maintaining mental health is just as important for a healthy life.