Negative attitudes and negative feelings towards mental illnesses can cause systemic and personal barriers for the people who are striving for mental health. Those barriers can often affect a person’s ability to gain employment, find safe and secure housing, access medical treatment and their basic involvement with the community. Stigma is also more than just feelings we hold regarding others. Stigma has huge implications. It has an impact on a person’s economics and personal safety. Much work has been done to address stigma and shed light on the realities of those living with a mental illness but we have a long way to go in removing the assumption that those living with a mental illness are a threat.
What misconceptions or beliefs do you hold about mental illness? How does that lens affect the way you view people living with a mental illness?
Can you think of any public figures that have spoken about their own struggles with mental health? Does it feel safe to speak openly about your own struggles with mental health?