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Anti-Stigma: Do You Know the Facts?


By: the Center for Mental Health Services/Knowledge Exchange Network

Stigma is not just the use of the wrong word or action. Stigma is about disrespect. It is the use of negative labels to identify a person living with mental illness. Stigma is a barrier and discourages individuals and their families from getting the help they need due to the fear of being discriminated against. An estimated 50 million Americans experience a mental disorder in any given year and only one-forth of them actually receive mental health and other services.

The educational information contained on this site provides material that encourages the use of positive images about people with mental illness and underscores the reality that mental illness can be successfully treated.

Do you know that an estimated 50 million Americans experience a mental disorder in any given year?

Do you know that stigma is not just the use of the wrong word or action?

Do you know that stigma is about disrespect, and that stigma is about the use of negative labels to identify a person living with mental illness?

Do you know that stigma is a barrier and discourages individuals and their families from getting the help they need due to the fear of being discriminated against?

Do you know that many people would rather tell employers they have committed a petty crime and were in jail, than admit to being in a psychiatric hospital?

Do you know that stigma results in inadequate insurance coverage for mental health services?

Do you know that stigma results in fear, mistrust, and violence against people living with mental illness?

Do you know that stigma results in families and friends turning their backs on people with mental illness?

Do you know that stigma keeps people from getting needed mental health services?

DO'S

Do use respectful language such as:

Person who has schizophrenia

Person with a psychiatric disability

Person with bipolar disorder

Do emphasize abilities, not limitations.

Do tell someone if they express a stigmatizing attitude.

DONT'S

Don't portray successful persons with disabilities as super human.

Don't use generic labels such as retarded, or the mentally ill.

Don't use terms like crazy, lunatic, manic depressive, slow functioning, or normal.

 
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