Analytic Charts on Computer Screen

Sharing – Is Mental Health Stigma Decreasing? It’s Complicated

You can go read the numbers in the article below, that appear to show that maybe we are seeing less stigma around depression, but more around more serious mental health conditions, as well as the fact that just because someone no longer says anything stigmatizing when asked, doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t act in ways that are. The truth really can be wrapped up in the last paragraph:

With stigma as with other complex psychosocial issues, the sobering truth remains that knowledge of the facts, while necessary, is insufficient for producing significant changes in attitudes or behavior.

We can, and should, do everything we can to get out good information and share the truth about mental health issues. We can, and should, share our own stories of the mental health issues we’ve survived, especially those of us who have had many of these issues due to the trauma we suffered.

But that will never be enough for some people. Knowing the truth about these issues, and knowing what people need in terms of non-stigmatizing support won’t be enough to change their actual behavior. The very topic(s) will make them uncomfortable and they will act out of that discomfort instead of relying on what they know. They will put their own comfort above any consideration of how stigmatizing their actions and words are because they simply cannot handle even the slightest discomfort in their lives.

That is their weakness, not ours.

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