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Sharing – Now Is the Time to Re-Examine Stigma About Mental Illness

This is a true look at the current situation from Naomi Weinshenker, M.D.:

“Prejudice won’t end because Dr. Corrigan—or I—disclose our own struggles. These actions need to be repeated again and again—and on a much larger scale. And numerous other problems remain. There is the aforementioned mental health professional shortage. Not everyone can—or should—publicly disclose their psychiatric challenges. It depends upon one’s life circumstances. And evidence exists that the public at large is still prejudiced against individuals with so-called “serious and persistent” mental illness like schizophrenia, believing that they are dangerous. But, by some indications, the trends in terms of reporting distress may be improving. Our challenge as both consumers and providers (in other words, as humans) is to move forward with honesty, hope and commitment. “

We have gotten better at discussing some mental health issues, but there’s still so much more to do. It’s still not safe for too many people to even admit they need help with anxiety and depression, even though right now we all need support. There is still a severe shortage of help available, and we still treat other mental health issues with something other than fear.

If not now, when? Those of us who can share our stories, should be doing exactly that. For all the people who can’t. And, maybe even more, we need to remind the world that these issues affect people everywhere, from all backgrounds. It’s not just Hollywood, and it’s not just on poor neighborhoods, it affects plenty of people that we probably come in contact with every day. People we know, people we love, people we work with, neighbors, friends, family, etc. are, or have been, struggling with their mental health.

Maybe once we convince enough people of that, they’ll care enough to do something about it.

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