Stigma ~ Let's change the conversation from FEAR to UNDERSTANDING!
It seems like mental health is being talked about a lot in wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But what is definitely missing is having a real conversation about how to expose and erase the stigma associated with mental illness. We all acknowledge that stigma exists. We see it in the media, in our schools our communities and even in our homes.
The President's plan to protect our children and our communities by reducing gun violence has grossly omitted dealing with institutionalized stigma. We must deal with the real issue that children do have mental health challenges and parents don't have support or access to services without fear of losing their children to public scrutiny, bullying, discrimination and even institutionalization. There is a serious lack of education in our society surrounding children's mental health needs. These are not "bad" or "violent" kids and young adults. These are youth who need treatment and parents who need support in getting help early. These children, youth, and families need to know where to go, which treatment is best, and how to access community support. The isolation parents feel because of their children's behavior, due to mental illness, keeps them from reaching out or even knowing who to trust for help. There should be national outrage at the number of young people who die each year by suicide and drug abuse, or the number of children with a mental health diagnosis that go untreated, and the lengths parents go to just trying to keep their children safe and out of trouble. This has to change in our nation before we can adequately address the need for an improved children's mental health care system."
How many of you feel completely comfortable talking about your mental health challenges or those of your children in your workplace, community or place of worship? Yet, we all discuss the outbreak of flu in our house, or the children all getting the chickenpox last summer, or God forbid the cancer diagnosis. The media follow movie stars along their journey in cancer treatment and recovery and we all pray for and cheer their recovery. Yet if a person enters rehab or a mental health facility, the late night talk show hosts have a comedic field day, and we all laugh.What is your real experience with stigma? What do you think it will take to erase stigma in America? We'd like to hear from you. Post your story below.
Invite friends to share your story
Thanks for sharing your story!
Spread the word by inviting friends
Selected friends ()
0 of 1 batches sent
Check the "Don't ask again" box below and you won't have to confirm the next time you send invitations