FIGHT THE STIGMA
Conversation: Talk openly about mental health; whether it be your own struggles, the struggles of those around you, or simply engaging in general conversation about the misconceptions and myths that surround mental health narratives.
Education: Educate yourself and those around you about the causes, symptoms and treatments for mental health. Reach out to professionals or mental health advocates to find out more about the mental health struggles prevalent in your communities.
Use of Language: Incorporating mental health conditions in everyday language, such as – “that man is a psychopath,” “you seem bipolar,” “you might as well kill yourself,” – not only trivializes the actual conditions but appropriates and validates the stigmas already associated with the illness. In society, it is acceptable to bring the names and symptoms of the conditions into everyday communication; but communicating about the actual illness is shunned. Be cautious of how you use language, and refrain from using mental health conditions as adjectives.
Equality in Health: Encourage equality between physical and mental health. It is easier to accept mental illnesses, talk about them, and seek treatment for them, when people start understanding the parallels between mental health and physical health. It is unlikely for individuals to belittle mental illnesses, as they wouldn’t diabetes or heart disease, if they see these two ambits of health as equal. Similarly, encourage honesty about mental health treatment, so people are not afraid to say they have an appointment with a psychiatrist or a therapist, the same way others easily talk about their appointments with their ‘physical health’ doctors.