A Stigma-Free Halloween

October 30, 2014 Becky Oberg

It's Halloween, and for mental health consumers, it can be an isolating time. The stigma of mental illness is reinforced with every "haunted asylum" attraction, "hanging man" decoration and "mental health patient" costume. More Than Borderline's Becky Oberg talks about how Halloween often reinforces negative stereotypes about mental health consumers, such as "they're violent," "they're deranged," and "they have no control over their actions."

Using Halloween to Teach about Mental Illness

Halloween can increase mental illness stigma with costumes like the escaped mental patient. This can create moments used to teach about mental illness stigma.

While voting with one's wallet is always a good thing, Oberg encourages mental health consumers to use such situations as "teachable moments." For example, not all mental health consumers are violent. Rather, they're more likely to be the victims of violent crime than the general population. It's also an excellent time to talk about the stigma behind mental illness and why such depictions are painful.

You can also find Becky Oberg on Google+, Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin.

APA Reference
Oberg, B. (2014, October 30). A Stigma-Free Halloween, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 24 from

Author: Becky Oberg

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