Breaking the Mental Health Stigma

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, The Mind Spa is committed to doing our part in raising awareness and providing resources and support for those in our community who want to help break the stigma.

Did you know?

Most families in America are affected by mental illness.

In 2019, it was estimated that 18% of American adults suffered from mental illness – that’s about 43 million people! Additionally, 1 in 5 teens suffered from a mental health disorder, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

While these numbers are staggering, recent reports suggest that the pandemic has increased these numbers significantly.

Here at The Mind Spa, we understand that social and cultural stigmas have unfortunately prevented those who are struggling with mental health from seeking help.

60% of adults and 50% of youth with mental illness have been unable to benefit from mental health services within the past year. But it’s never too late…

Join us in:

  • Removing the stigma around mental health care
  • Helping more Americans get access to mental health care

Why the stigma?

It’s important to note that mental health is a complex and challenging subject.

Throughout history, there have been many debates on how to approach mental health issues and how to provide treatment.

In many cultures, mental illness was viewed as a form of religious punishment or demonic possession. We see this subject reflected in ancient Egyptian, Indian, Greek, and Roman writings, where mental illness was categorized as a religious or personal problem.

Unfortunately, without modern technology and information, we have today, those who were mentally ill in those societies were believed to be possessed or in need of religion. Unfortunately, these negative perceptions towards mental illness persisted into the 18th century in the United States, leading to the stigmatization of mental illness and unhygienic (and often degrading) confinement of mentally ill individuals.

In the United States, prior to the introduction of modern medicine, institutionalization was prevalent. And, state hospitals were often underfunded and understaffed, drawing harsh criticism and reports of poor living conditions and human rights violations.

What can we do to help minimize the stigma around mental health?

  • Be Encouraged to Seek Treatment
    • If you or a loved one are suffering from mental health issues, know that you are not alone and that it is okay to seek help. While it may be a difficult decision, undergoing treatment can help you identify underlying issues and find new ways to help manage your personal and work life.
  • Remember that you are not an “illness”
    • Instead of saying that “I am ADHD”, say “I have ADHD”, or instead of “I am Schizophrenic”, say “I have Schizophrenia”.
  • Be Understanding and Conscious
    • Don’t use words like “Crazy”, “Maniac” or “Psycho” to describe yourself or others. When it comes to breaking the mental health stigma, it is all about empathy and the encouragement of seeking professional help.
  • Talk openly about mental health
    • If you have experienced mental health challenges, or are currently experiencing challenges, share these experiences with your peers! This will often help others feel more comfortable and create positive conversations.
  • Share your experience with treatment
    • Oftentimes, just sharing your positive experience with treatment can help others feel more encouraged and less isolated. Feel free to let others know that you have been to therapy and what benefits you’ve received from seeking help.

While overcoming the stigma surrounding mental health is not easy, we are committed to helping our community seek the care they need. If you or a loved one is suffering, please reach out to a mental health professional, or if urgent, call the Suicide Hotline at 800-273-8255 which is available 24/7.