Does anyone know what month this is?
Does anyone stop and care?! May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Throughout May, extra attention goes to human interest stories. These are stories about individuals with mental illnesses, addiction, and incarceration. Sadly, in 2023, in America, these stories are still relevant. Campaigns like MENTAL HEALTH MATTERS are relevant today more than ever.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness hopes to combat stigma with their 2023 theme, More Than Enough. Stigma is a mark of disgrace. It is a scarlet letter still associated with having and living with a mental illness.
Even today, in 2023, stigma-laden language, e.g., “crazy” and “dangerous,” are synonymous with mental illness. Stigma Busters is an organization that aims to eliminate ignorance, prejudice, and discrimination. The organization has been researching self-stigma. As early as 2017, research suggested that self-stigma adversely affects recovery.
- Diminished hope
- Lower self-esteem
- Increased symptoms
- Difficulties with relationships
- Reduced likelihood of staying in therapy
- More difficulties at work
The harmful effects of stigma include the following:
- Reluctance to seek help or treatment and less likely to stay in treatment
- Social isolation
- Lack of understanding by family, friends, or others
- Fewer opportunities for school or work, social activities, or finding housing
- Health insurance that adequately covers mental health treatment
- Bullying, physical violence, or harassment
- The belief is that we will never succeed or can never improve our situation.
In 2017, Jacob Whitesides wrote and performed “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along.” The basic message is clear. Humans don’t need to hurt one another. Thus, why can’t we get along? Ending the single “Give Peace a Chance,” 1969, the first release by John Lennon after the Beatles, echoes similar sentiments.
These songs should remind everyone to continue to promote Mental Health Awareness. #MHAwarenessmonth 2023.
See you in the NewsBlogs and Newsletters.
Howard Diamond is a Certified Peer Specialist from Long Island, New York
Categories: Self Help
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