End Stigma!

Poster: Know me as a person not by my mental illnessAn estimated 58 million Americans experience a mental disorder in a given year, yet people with a mental illness would rather tell their employers they have committed a petty crime and were in jail than admit to being in a psychiatric hospital.  Why?  Because of the stigma that is associated with mental illnesses.

Stigma refers to a cluster of negative attitudes and beliefs that motivate the general public to fear, reject, avoid, and discriminate against people who have a mental illness.  Self-stigma occurs when a person applies these negative beliefs to themselves. Self-stigma can negatively affect self-esteem and complicate the process of recovery.

  • Stigma results in fear, mistrust, and violence against people living with mental illnesses. 
  • Stigma prevents people from receiving needed mental health services. 
  • Stigma is a barrier and discourages individuals and their families from getting the help they need due to fear of being discriminated against.
  • Stigma leads to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. It deters the public from seeking and wanting to pay for care.

source: SAMHSA

Ongoing multimedia anti-stigma campaigns

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