stigmafree

#StigmaFree: Mental Health Month 2016

mental health monthDo you know someone living with a mental illness? Perhaps you do, and is it someone close to you, i.e., family member or friend? The chances are that you probably do and, even if you do not, you can help them this May by taking part in Mental Health Month. Unfortunately, even in the enlightened times we find ourselves living, there are still stigmas surrounding mental health disorders—illnesses which include:

  • Addiction
  • Anxiety Disorder (i.e. PTSD, OCD and Phobias)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is urging people to harness the power and reach out on their social media platforms for educating others, raise awareness and end the stigma of mental illness with hope. They ask that you take the pledge to be #StigmaFree this #MentalHealthMonth. While approximately 1 in 5 American adults experience some form of mental illness in a given year, less than 41 percent of them receive any form of mental health service, according to NAMI.

Mental illness that is left unchecked by therapy and medication can quickly spiral out of control—often times ending in tragedy. We can all have a hand in encouraging the afflicted to seek help for their illness without fear of being shamed. Recovering from mental health disorders is possible—people can lead normal and productive lives free from disgrace. But, in order for that to come to fruition, it involves a societal effort.

So, What Can You Do to help?

  1. Take the Pledge to Be #StigmaFree
  2. Record your Video
  3. Upload it to your YouTube channel and other social media accounts.
  4. Include #StigmaFree in the Title

Perhaps you have a story of your own that you would like to share with others who are still severely impacted by a mental illness. What you went through may empower others to seek the help they so desperately need. Let them know that they are not alone, share your voice.

“We know that mental illness is not something that happens to other people. It touches us all. Why then is mental illness met with so much misunderstanding and fear?” – Tipper Gore

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