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Restoring Dignity to Mental Health

“Dignity in Mental Health was the theme for World Mental Health Day. As part of the discussion, we reflect on why there is such a big difference in attitude towards illness that stems from say the heart, to one that stems from the brain.”
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has made it very clear how it views the way people with mental health conditions are treated: “Thousands of people with mental health conditions around the world are deprived of their human rights. They are not only discriminated against, stigmatised and marginalised but are also subject to emotional and physical abuse in both mental health facilities and the community. Poor quality care due to a lack of qualified health professionals and dilapidated facilities leads to further violations.”

“It makes for bleak reading and in the developed world, we’d like to think that the situation isn’t that bad. Sadly, it can be; hopefully, we will continue to change it for the better.”

Who Ambitions:

“In the coming months, WHO will be raising awareness of what can be done to ensure that people with mental health conditions can continue to live with dignity, through human rights-oriented policy and law, training of health professionals, respect for informed consent to treatment, inclusion in decision-making processes, and public information campaigns.”

“In their literature1, the WHO talks about how we can promote the rights and dignity of people with mental health conditions. In the health-care system we need to provide better support and care for people with mental health conditions by.”

• providing community-based services, encompassing a recovery approach that inspires hope and supports people to achieve their goals and aspirations;

• respecting people’s autonomy, including their right to make their own decisions about their treatment and care; and

• ensuring access to good quality care which promotes human rights, is responsive to people’s needs, and respects their values, choices and preferences
In the Community, we need to:

• support people with mental health conditions to participate in community life, and acknowledge the value of their contribution;

• respect their autonomy to make decisions for themselves, including about their living arrangements and personal and financial matters;

• ensure their access to employment, education, housing, social support and other opportunities; and

• include people in decision-making processes on issues affecting them, including policy, legislation and health service reform relating to mental health
“It will be interesting to observe how public (and professional) perceptions towards so-called mental illness evolves. Perhaps we should also be thinking about a better way to label conditions that affect different parts of the body, this in itself might help to shift some unwanted stigma.”




Check out this link to learn more:

 Restoring Dignity 




Help us to #StopStigma
“It’s time to start talking about mental illness. There are so many ways that you can get involved and help us to #StopStigma, and change mental health for good.”



“SANE campaigns tirelessly to end the stigma and prejudices surrounding mental health. We raise awareness and educate people about mental illness to combat the ignorance which all too often exacerbates the distress that sufferers experience. Together we can bring mental health out of the shadows. Please join the fight today and give here to help us #StopStigma. Thank you.”


Project Helping

“All of us at Project Helping intimately understand the stigma around mental health issues and depression. We understand because we have all struggled with depression and depression related illness and we have all felt the crushing burden of the stigma. In turn, we all understand the importance of working towards ending the associated stigma.”

​”The stigma that exists around depression and mental health is the primary reason that 80% of people suffering with mental health issues do not speak up and do not seek help. Forty million people in the United States suffer from depression. That means that approximately 25 million people suffer from depression in complete silence. In turn, this is the reason that approximately 40,000 people per year attempt suicide.”

“For those living with depression or other mental health issues in silence, they likely fear many possible repercussions:”

  • ​Limited Career Advancement Opportunities
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Exclusion from Social Circles
  • ​Loss of Spouse/Partner
  • Judgement from Religious Community
  • Fear of Health and Life Insurance Limitations

Depression is a Serious Matter

“It is estimated that depression causes the most additional health issues of any disease. Depression is financially the most costly disease in the world due to the fact that is causes other health issues and often goes untreated. Unlike the emotional experiences of sadness, loss and passing mood states, clinical depression is persistent and can significantly interfere with someone’s ability to function. Many people still believe that the prolonged and overwhelming symptoms of depression are “not real” or that the person should “try harder” and “just get over it” and this creates the depression stigma.”

“When someone chooses not to speak up because of the fear and shame of the stigma, it can impact their life and health in many ways.”


  • Isolation 
  • Untreated Disease
  • Deteriorating Physical Health
  • Worsening or Co-occuring Additional Diseases


Mental health: Overcoming the stigma of mental illness

Overcoming The Stigma  
“False beliefs about mental illness can cause significant problems. Learn what you can do about stigma.”

Stigma is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that’s thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype). Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common.

“Stigma can lead to discrimination. Discrimination may be obvious and direct, such as someone making a negative remark about your mental illness or your treatment. Or it may be unintentional or subtle, such as someone avoiding you because the person assumes you could be unstable, violent or dangerous due to your mental health condition. You may even judge yourself.”

“Some of the harmful effects of stigma can include:”

  • “Reluctance to seek help or treatment”
  • “Lack of understanding by family, friends, co-workers or others you know”
  • “Fewer opportunities for work, school or social activities or trouble finding housing”
  • “Bullying, physical violence or harassment”
  • “Health insurance that doesn’t adequately cover your mental illness treatment”
  • “The belief that you’ll never be able to succeed at certain challenges or that you can’t improve your situation”

Steps to cope with stigma:

  • “Get treatment. You may be reluctant to admit you need treatment. Don’t let the fear of being labeled with a mental illness prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief by identifying what’s wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.”
  • “Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame. Stigma doesn’t just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking psychological counseling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others with mental illness can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.”
  • “Don’t isolate yourself. If you have a mental illness, you may be reluctant to tell anyone about it. Your family, friends, clergy or members of your community can offer you support if they know about your mental illness. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.”
  • “Don’t equate yourself with your illness. You are not an illness. So instead of saying “I’m bipolar,” say “I have bipolar disorder.” Instead of calling yourself “a schizophrenic,” say “I have schizophrenia.””
  • “Join a support group. Some local and national groups, such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), offer local programs and Internet resources that help reduce stigma by educating people with mental illness, their families and the general public. Some state and federal agencies and programs, such as those that focus on vocational rehabilitation or the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), offer support for people with mental health conditions.”
  • “Get help at school. If you or your child has a mental illness that affects learning, find out what plans and programs might help. Discrimination against students because of a mental health condition is against the law, and educators at primary, secondary and college levels are required to accommodate students as best they can. Talk to teachers, professors or administrators about the best approach and resources. If a teacher doesn’t know about a student’s disability, it can lead to discrimination, barriers to learning and poor grades.”
  • “Speak out against stigma. Consider expressing your opinions at events, in letters to the editor or on the Internet. It can help instill courage in others facing similar challenges and educate the public about mental illness.”

Others’ judgments almost always stem from a lack of understanding rather than information based on the facts. Learning to accept your condition and recognize what you need to do to treat it, seeking support, and helping educate others can make a big difference.”


Say It Forward Anti-Stigma Campaign

Anti-Stigma Campaign



Monday, October 6, 2014 – 12:00 to Sunday, October 12, 2014 – 12:00 – See more at:

“When it comes to mental health conditions, silence is not golden. Silence breeds stigma, and stigma prevents people from seeking life-saving treatment and support.

Please join the International Bipolar Foundation and our partners in a social media campaign the week of Oct. 6-12 to fight the stigma of mental illness and encourage those who need it, to seek treatment. Help us “bust the stigma” by “saying it forward.””


“When we separate myth from fact, stigma loses its power and seeking treatment is less scary for those who need help. Help me fight stigma!”


“Starting Oct. 6, visit to share the facts and shatter the myths of mental illness through email, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You can also share your stories and stigma-busting triumphs by using the hashtags #BustTheStigma and #SayItForward. Last year we reached more than a million people, and with your support, we hope to surpass that milestone this year.”


Stop the Stigma: ‘Bipolar’ Is Not a New Word for Just Darn Unpleasant


“You hear it everywhere. “Oh, she’s so bipolar.”

It’s the diagnosis of the decade. At least in the general public.

It didn’t start with Catherine Zeta-Jones treatment and its publicity, but it has certainly picked up speed since then. Tiger Woods was treated for sexual addiction. You don’t hear people pointing their fingers at others saying, “Oh, he’s such a sex addict.””

“Here are some statistics:
The National Institute of Mental Health (2005) reports that the prevalence of bipolar disorder is 2.6 percent of the U.S. population. It is interesting and unhappy to note their report that only about half of those with bipolar disorder are getting good treatment. Another scholarly report (2007) breaks down the two major diagnostic categories of Bipolar, I and II, and reports their prevalence, respectively, as 1 percent and 1.1 percent, with what they term “sub threshold” bipolar II at 2.4 percent. A study in 2011 showed it to be higher, 4.4 percent. Probably depends if you are adding all of these up or not.”

“What do these stats mean?
That probably around 4 percent of the people that you have met in your entire life have had bipolar disorder. It does run in families (meaning that it has a high genetic load) so some of you may have had more experience with people with the disorder than others. Some, none at all.”

“The disorder is characterized by changes in mood, in energy level, that may appear to come out of nowhere. Perhaps triggered by stress, by events. Perhaps not. Irrational ups and downs. Sometimes mixed in with irritability and/or anxiety. Sleep problems are a big issue. A person with bipolar disorder has to learn to live with and manage the disease. The medications can have negative side effects. It can be difficult to find a medication/s that works.”

“There are many people with bipolar disorder who are highly creative, high-functioning people. They can have lives that are not governed by their illness and live happy, loving, productive lives.

But there’s no cure. And there are some that are not so lucky.

It’s tough.

To make matters worse, now the term “bipolar” is being used as slang to describe folks who wear their feelings on their sleeves, are overly reactive, quite moody, selfish or demanding (and then pout a lot).”

“So let’s not throw them under the bus further by calling everybody we don’t like very much — or who is hard to get along with — “bipolar.”

That’s just not fair.

It’s not right.

And it hurts the people who are fighting to cope with it.”

“So please. Just stop.

Please send this on if you enjoyed! Especially if you know of someone who has experienced mental health issues, whether it be bipolar disorder, anxiety or panic or depression. It’s important that those trying to heal and live their lives know they have our support!”



Stop the Stigma: ‘Bipolar’ Is Not a New Word for Just Darn Unpleasant

Stop the Stigma

“You hear it everywhere. “Oh, she’s so bipolar.”

It’s the diagnosis of the decade. At least in the general public.”

“Here are some statistics. The National Institute of Mental Health (2005) reports that the prevalence of bipolar disorder is 2.6 percent of the U.S. population. It is interesting and unhappy to note their report that only about half of those with bipolar disorder are getting good treatment. Another scholarly report (2007) breaks down the two major diagnostic categories of Bipolar, I and II, and reports their prevalence, respectively, as 1 percent and 1.1 percent, with what they term “sub threshold” bipolar II at 2.4 percent.”




Stop That Stigma!





My Bipolar Life


That’s Right, We’re Gonna Fight

The world is changing.  It’s a very different world than it was even five years ago; the specter of AIDS is diminishing due to good medicines and prevention of transmission. Fortunately, equality for all is becoming the standard by which we judge a nation — our own and other’s.  Most rational people understand that the unity of people is infinitely stronger when the members of the community work together for noble yet realistic aims.

Yet recognition and understanding of the needs of those of us with mental illnesses isn’t keeping pace with other movements.  Stigma is rampant and visible even today although perhaps one could argue that things are somewhat better and maybe it’s true to some degree.  But stigma is not only imposed from without, but a thing with which we constrain ourselves.


I recently looked up the definition for the word stigma

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