An International Crisis: Destigmatizing Mental Health

An International Crisis: Destigmatizing Mental Health

“Oh, she’s crazy”, “Yeah, that guy is a maniac”, “That person is nuts”; these are all phrases people say on a regular basis to describe people they perceive to have mental health issues. And all of these phrases are super negative. Why? Because our society has a major stigma around mental health and mental illness. By destigmatizing mental health and improving our mental health care system overall, everyone can be happier and healthier.

Why destigmatizing mental health is important

According to a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicines (NAS), destigmatizing mental health and mental illness can only happen in our culture if we implement a serious national effort involving health agencies, the criminal justice system, employers, schools, and the media.

destigmatizing mental health

Destigmatizing mental health is important because many people go years without being treated. According to a report by the Child Mind Institute, only 35 percent of children get the help they need for psychiatric illnesses.

That same report showed that: 80 percent of children with anxiety disorders are not getting treatment; 40 percent of children with ADHD aren’t getting treatment; 60 percent of children with depression aren’t getting treatment; and 70.4 percent of youth in juvenile justice systems meet the criteria for psychiatric disorders.

By destigmatizing mental health, people will be more willing to seek treatment. People are scared to be perceived as “crazy” or “unstable” because of the way society looks at mental illness. Gradually, we are getting more and more educated about mental illness and the importance of getting treatment, but we still have a long way to go before the stigma will disappear completely.

How you can help

Everyone can do their part in helping to destigmatize mental health. Here are some of the things you can do on a daily basis:

  • Educate yourself and others about symptoms of a variety of mental illnesses: The more we know about mental illness, the less scary it seems.
  • Encourage friends and family to seek treatment: No one should feel like they need to hide their mental illness or substance use issue from people. Seeking treatment is important for anyone struggling with a mental health issue because it will improve their chances of living happy, healthy lives.
  • Don’t shame those with mental health issues: Using words like “crazy”, “nuts”, and “freak” only further the stigma of mental health. Avoid using words that will make others feel less than and that encourage the negative feelings associated with mental illness.

ViewPoint Center can help your teen struggling with mental illness

ViewPoint Center, a teen assessment center for youth ages 12-17, provides comprehensive diagnostic assessments and treatment for teens struggling with mental health issues.

For more information about ViewPoint Center, please call 801-825-5222 today!


Continue Reading