“Thankfully, these stigmas have decreased somewhat over the last few years, and young people are feeling a bit better about reaching out, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. It will take everyone’s commitment to continue to lend shoulders and ears when people are struggling, consider our own attitudes to mental health, raise societal awareness of the issues and gain more understanding. We can all do our bit to encourage positive action and make a difference. Taking one constructive step at a time will help. One of the biggest problems is the stigma that exists through stereotypes, slang and discrimination, so we can do our best not to use unhelpful language. We can find ways to offer support and comfort, so those affected know they’re not alone. There’s absolutely no valid reason why mental health should be a taboo, or for anyone to feel embarrassed. We all exist on the mental health spectrum and those with diagnoses need not see themselves as being ultimately defined by it; it’s just one aspect of who they are, as a unique, fully rounded person.”
There are positive signs out there, but we’re still a long way from living in a stigma-free world where a mental health struggle is just part of someone’s story, not the end all be all of how they are viewed by their family and friends.
We’ll get there though..