People with mental health issues face stigma everyday during basic things (eg- going to school, in the workplace, on social media). Stigma occurs whenever there are negative opinions, judgements or stereotypes made about anyone with any form of mental illness. So why does it even exist?
The stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness is based of the lack of education in the area and the negative attitudes or beliefs people have towards these issues. Portraying mentally ill people with inaccurate stereotypes, sensationalising situations through unwarranted references to mental illness and using demeaning or hostile language is all adding to the stigma and the media is the backbone to the stigma.
People with mental illness also take on board the prejudiced views held by others, which can affect their self-esteem which can lead them to not seek treatment, to withdraw from society, to alcohol and drug abuse or even to suicide.
Together, we can beat the stigma and support the people who need it most.
NB: The author did not supply an image for this piece, we chose a humdinger ourselves.