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Our Mental Health Blogs

Make Fitness a Tool to Fight Mental Health Stigma

Make Fitness a Tool to Fight Mental Health Stigma

Fitness and Exercise Will Help Fight Stigma

There are many ways that fitness can help you fight mental health stigma. One of the ways people form stigmatizing beliefs about those with mental health issues is that they think they are lazy for not working or engaging in society. Mental health stigma makes people believe these myths, but they can be busted with more individuals who have a mental illness getting healthy exercise and fitness.

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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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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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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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Make a Difference: Stop Using Stigmatizing Words

Make a Difference: Stop Using Stigmatizing Words

We all use stigmatizing words; some can’t seem to stop, some don’t know they are hurtful. The truth is, we can make a difference in our world if we stop using stigmatizing words (Language Can Stigmatize People with Mental Illness). We want to be able to talk about mental health and reduce stigma in the media, at home, and in the workplace. To increase awareness and to do this, we must stop using stigmatizing words and insist others do the same.

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Psychopaths Versus Those Who Experience Psychosis

Psychopaths Versus Those Who Experience Psychosis

Stigma affects those with psychosis, especially when people believe psychosis and psychopathy are the same conditions despite that the two are very different. It is wrong to stigmatize a person with psychosis in any way for many reasons. It is worse to stigmatize a mentally ill person with psychosis, accusing them of being violent or psychopathic. Psychosis is a condition common in people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and bipolar disorder, among other mental illnesses

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How to Respond to Stigmatizing Costumes on Halloween

How to Respond to Stigmatizing Costumes on Halloween

There are plenty of ways stigma surfaces around Halloween (Mental Illness Stigma And Halloween: A Teachable Moment) and this include stigmatizing Halloween costumes. Typically, we hear about costumes that are promoting hurtful stereotypes for cultural or racial groups and the posts start asking people to not wear those costumes because of the messages they send. Brock University in Ontario, Canada has even banned these types of costumes, as well as costumes that make light of mental health issues, and those costumes certainly are cropping up, too. So far I’ve seen one costume that is supposed to be a “skitzo” and then there is the widely spoken-against self-harm costume that was listed on Walmart’s website before it was taken down and an apology was issued. Here’s how you might responde to these stigmatizing costumes used for Halloween.

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Stigmatizing Words: Excoriation Is More Than a Habit

Stigmatizing Words: Excoriation Is More Than a Habit

Excoriation is more than just a habit and words around it can stigmatize. Body-focused repetitive behaviours like excoriation (also called dermatillomania and skin-picking disorder) are more than habits one can easily break. The disease is difficult enough to deal with without the misunderstandings and stigma. Very few people know about this group of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) despite increased awareness efforts from within the body-focused repetitive behaviours (BFRB) community and even outside sources. It’s important remember that words can be stigmatizing and that excoriation is more than just a habit.

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Summertime Mental Illness Stigma

Summertime Mental Illness Stigma

There’s no denying mental illness stigma is a year-round occurrence, but, sometimes, different points in the year make that stigma feel more poignant (What Is Stigma?). Summer is one of those times because it boasts good weather and longer days, and, typically, people encourage each other to be outside. It’s time to “enjoy the weather” so to speak, but that’s not always so easy. Summertime mental illness stigma can be a problem.

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Language Can Stigmatize People with Mental Illness

Language Can Stigmatize People with Mental Illness

Language can stigmatize people with mental illness, and I am quite sensitive to noticing all of the words that seem to counteract society’s movement toward destigmatizing a world for people who live with mental illness. Do you ever cringe when you hear the word “crazy” or “psycho?” I do. I feel that we have come so far in many respects in shaping our stigmatizing language for the good of many groups such as the terms, “gay,” “retarded” or “lame,” so why are we still so stigmatizing with language when it comes to mental illness?

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