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Help Stop Mental Health Stigma: Arm Yourself With Knowledge

Help Stop Mental Health Stigma: Arm Yourself With Knowledge

stigma can be stopped when you arm yourself with knowledge and fight the myths at every turn

It is important to arm yourself with knowledge in any way you can so you can better fight mental health stigma whenever you encounter it. You may be seeking this knowledge for many reasons. For yourself, for a family member, or for people you work around or interact with who have a mental illness. By seeking knowledge on mental health, you can stop stigmatizing beliefs on the spot when you encounter people who have misunderstandings or believe mental health myths.

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Never Let Mental Health Stigma Stop You from Achieving Goals

Never Let Mental Health Stigma Stop You from Achieving Goals

Do you sometimes want to give up on achieving your goals? Mental health stigma can create barriers to employment or housing, but don't stop reaching your goals.

It is extremely important to your recovery from a mental illness that you not let mental health stigma stop you from achieving your goals. Inside of you are the abilities and passions that can make you happy if you pursue your goals and not allow mental health stigma to stop you from doing what you want most.

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Scars from Mental Illness and Attention-Seeking

Scars from Mental Illness and Attention-Seeking

Many people stigmatize scars from mental illness and say that choosing not to hide them is attention-seeking. Here's why it's not.

Scars from mental illness are common but if we show them, are we attention-seeking. In today’s society, we have a very weird relationship with scars. More often than not, I see them treated as a source of shame, even if there’s absolutely no reason for that shame. Surgical scars, scars from accidents, scars from scrapes and falls—generally speaking, they’re kept under wraps because they’re seen as “defects” to our skin. When it comes to scars from mental illness, that shame doubles (To Hide or Not to Hide Self-Harm Scars).

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When to Reveal Mental Illness to a New Friend

When to Reveal Mental Illness to a New Friend

Knowing when to reveal your mental illness to a new friend can cause a lot of anxiety. Learn about when to reveal a mental illness to a friend here.

It is often difficult to know when to tell new friends about our mental illness, or even one that a family member suffers due to mental health stigma. Many people who face stigma are judged by others, especially when making new friends, but it can still be important to be honest about your mental illness and reveal it as soon as you are comfortable.

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The Stigma of the Term ‘Commit Suicide’

The Stigma of the Term ‘Commit Suicide’

The term 'commit suicide' drips with stigma, although you might never have thought of it. The term 'commit suicide' should be replaced and here's why.

In recent years, the mental health community has been working to phase out the term “commit suicide” because of the negative connotations that are attributed to it. It really came on my radar two years ago when I attended a suicide prevention walk in St. Catharine’s, Ontario and spoke with Denise Waligora, who works with the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Waligora shared with me the stigma associated with the term “commit suicide” and how it was associated with crime and sinfulness (Talk About Suicide to Erase the Shame of Talking About Suicide).

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Discussing Mental Health Stigma With Children Is Important

Discussing Mental Health Stigma With Children Is Important

More and more, people push for discussing mental health with children and to include education on mental health, mental wellness, and mental illness in the classroom and outside of it (Where is Mental Illness Education?). I wholeheartedly agree with this idea because it has the potential help children recognize mental health trouble in themselves and in others, and to know there is something that can be done if they’re struggling. Another big reason for the push is the aim to reduce stigma, but I can’t think of an instance in which it was said there should be lessons about stigma, too. Discussing mental health stigma is just as important as talking about mental illness.

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Stop Comparing Yourself to Others to Stop Mental Health Stigma

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others to Stop Mental Health Stigma

Stop comparing yourself to others, because when you do, you are letting mental health stigma affect your self-esteem. The only person who it is fair to compare yourself to is you. Are you doing better today than you were yesterday? Have you improved in different ways from a year ago? Mental health stigma can make us compare ourselves to others who don’t have a mental illness or peers who haven’t been through the same things that we have (How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others). 

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How Talking About Willpower Contributes to Mental Health Stigma

How Talking About Willpower Contributes to Mental Health Stigma

While people generally don’t mean any hard by saying “stay strong” to those with mental illness but talking about willpower can contribute to mental health stigma. Implying being strong enough lets you overcome mental illness can be problematic (Mental Illness Can Zap Motivation). Find out why the concept of willpower can contribute to Mental Health Stigma.

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How to Stop Ruminating on Memories of Mental Health Stigma

How to Stop Ruminating on Memories of Mental Health Stigma

If ruminating on memories of mental health stigma and discrimination haunt you, there are ways for you to stop ruminating. Taking back control when you remember events where you were stigmatized, can be as simple as taking a breath. Here are some techniques to help you stop ruminating on mental health stigma memories of when you were ill. 

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Setbacks in Mental Health Recovery Do Not Ruin Your Recovery

Setbacks in Mental Health Recovery Do Not Ruin Your Recovery

A setback in mental health recovery is a challenge because many have this idea that recovery must be perfect. The rhetoric tends to be that we’re strong when we’re recovering and we’re weak if we have a setback; I’ve even had someone tell me she was strong enough to avoid mental illness relapse. The way I see it, though, a setback in mental health recovery — and mental illness as a whole — is not that simply defined.

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