RiR Explains Mental Health Stigma
Full Transcript of Video
NARRRATOR: How do people around you talk about mental health? Do they use words like nutcase, maniac, or psycho? Do they only bring up mental health after something bad happens in the news? Do your friends, family, or coworkers treat you differently when they learn you have a mental health disability? If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. All these negative messages create powerful stigmas against the 20% of Americans who live with mental health disabilities. That’s one in five people. But because of stigma, we rarely talk about how common it is to have a mental health disability. And if you start to believe these negative messages, you might be experiencing internalized oppression, or what’s known as self-stigma. Self-stigma can feel like a wall surrounding you. It may cause you to feel embarrassment or shame. It might become a barrier to forming authentic relationships. And it could lead you to lose out on getting the social support you need. You can combat self-stigma, but first remember that you are not alone. Remember that number from before? One out of five people have a mental health disability. There’s a lot of us out here, in all walks of life. Finding a community can help defeat self-stigma. You can start by having a candid conversation with friends to share how you’re feeling. You may choose to connect with a peer-led group, or maybe find an online community. And there’s a large and growing community of people with mental health disabilities organizing to fight back against stigma and negative attitudes in society as a whole. Speaking out, writing, advocating, different forms of activism can lead to change and help us find community.