Thursday, Oct. 06, 2022|
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May is the National Mental Health Month to raise awareness of mental health conditions and wellness for everyone by removing the stigma attached to mental illness (Mental Health America). Mental health awareness is the recognition that our psychological well-being is an essential part of our health, productivity, happiness and the well-being of our communities.
Mental health involves a person’s condition concerning their psychological, emotional and social well-being. Mental health affects how we think, feel, and act and is vital at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Unfortunately, mental health is attached to mental illness, and its stigma operates in society.
According to the World Health Organization, mental illnesses are diagnosed conditions that affect thoughts and behaviors. Though anyone can have moments of poor mental health, not everyone has a mental illness. On the other hand, someone with a mental illness can achieve sound mental health.
Many factors contribute to mental health problems, including biological factors, such as genes or brain chemistry, life experiences, trauma or abuse, and family history of mental health problems.
Sadly, mental health stigma is a negative attitude and discrimination against someone with the distinguishing characteristics of a mental illness is sometimes viewed as a disability. Stereotypes also contribute to mental illness stigma, thus perpetuating a “shame” culture that often hampers and oppresses persons from seeking some treatment modality.
Mental health and its attachment to mental illness are common and treatable. However, with increasing awareness and encouragement surrounding the importance of mental health — aided through digital platforms and social media and the support provided by organizations, businesses and individuals — we can work together to help decrease the stigma associated with mental health.
Let’s be open to educating ourselves and others to decrease mental health stigma.
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