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The Facts about Stigma

Stigma leads others to avoiding living, socializing, or working with, renting to, or employing people with mental disorders. It deters the public from seeking and wanting to pay for care. Responding to stigma, people with mental health problems internalize public attitudes and become so embarrassed or ashamed that they often conceal symptoms and fail to seek treatment.

What is mental health recovery?

Recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her potential. There are numerous avenues to recovery, including medication, rehabilitation, psychotherapy, group therapy, self-help, or a combination of these things.

What can be done to reduce stigma and keep more people on the pathway to healing?

  • Increase knowledge and understanding of mental illness and addictions
  • Decrease discrimination and inappropriate behavior toward people who suffer from mental illness and addiction
  • Encourage adolescents and adults to support friends who are experiencing a mental health problem
  • Increase help-seeking behavior among individuals who may need professional help for mental illness or addiction
  • Encourage a supportive community environment that minimizes future disability for people experiencing psychological distress