WHY STIGMA MATTERS:
Stigma is dangerous as, while it is gathering support, it interferes with understanding. It is responsible for the delay in seeking medical intervention. Add this to the initial denial that a relative is suffering from a mental illness, as well as the failure to recognize it in others.
Stigma is usually the reason that families resort to secrecy instead of talking about their relative’s mental illness the way they would talk about a physical illness.
Stigma is often the reason why co-workers keep aloof from someone in their office or other place of work suffering from a mental illness.
Stigma is often the reason that a high school student does not study as well as previously … stigma brings about isolation.
Stigma causes family relationships to break down when one of the the parents has been known to flee due to his/her inability to deal with mental illness in that family. Siblings have left home prematurely due to their inability to handle the very difficult situation at home.
Maybe Health Services across our world can be persuaded to run anti-stigma programs. I wonder why the level of prejudice and discrimination toward people suffering from a mental illness has not changed much during the last ten years. Does that mean that all the anti-stigma campaigns have failed
Maybe efforts to reduce stigma should focus on the person and not on the illness? Maybe we should emphasize the many positive assets that each person with a mental illness posssesses?
OR MAYBE THE MEDIA CAN BE HARNESSED? IF THEY ADDRESS AND CHALLENGE THE STIGMA, IT MIGHT JUST WORK.
For all the people who have been through a hard time or are going through a rough period now, STAY POSITIVE. REMEMBER THAT WORRYING WILL NOT CHANGE THE OUTCOME.