Snap out the STIGMA
It's OK to talk about mental illness
There is no shame in seeking help
There is hope after diagnosis
The only thing shameful about mental illness is the stigma attached to it. It is quite likely that one day you, one of your friends, colleagues or family members will experience a mental health problem. Yet mental illness is still surrounded by prejudice, ignorance and fear.
Stigma? What is it?
Stigma is a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart. When a person is labeled by their illness they are seen as part of a stereotyped group. Negative attitudes create prejudice which leads to negative actions and discrimination.
Stigma brings experiences and feelings of:
- Reluctance to seek and/or accept necessary help
The Transition can be Challenging...
Helping youth and young adults with serious mental health conditions transition from adolescence to adulthood involves transitioning them from child to adult mental health services, which are two very different systems.
Youth and young adults may be feeling like:
I am not getting treatment, I do not want to be labeled, I am just going to isolate myself, I am not going to tell anyone because they will not be supportive/compassionate, I am an illness, "I'm Bipolar", there are no support groups out there for me...
Building a Transition Bridge
Get Treatment, Do not let stigma create self-doubt and shame, Do not isolate yourself, Do not equate yourself with your illness, Join a support group, Talk to someone at school, Speak out against stigma.
The stigma of mental illness is pervasive and interferes with treatment and overall life quality for those with disorders. Talk openly of your own experience of mental illness. The more hidden mental illness remains, the more people continue to believe that it is shameful and needs to be concealed.