Even with growing awareness about mental health, it remains a taboo topic in many places. Mental health conditions like depression, trauma, anxiety, and burnout have led many not to speak out on such topics for fear of stigmatization. The COVID-19 pandemic has added stress to many people and amplified mental health issues. From financial hardships to coping with burnout and isolation, everyone is struggling. This article details ways you can destigmatize mental health and promote open conversations.
Mental health refers to the ability of an individual to manage stress, work-life pressures, and contribute effectively to the community. Factors such as socioeconomic, environmental, and biological can cause mental health problems. Stigma can be a sign of disgrace associated with a specific characteristic, circumstance, person, or quality. In many cases, stigmas might not be accurate or fair. To destigmatize issues of mental health means to remove the disgrace or shame associated with it.
Mental health awareness involves the ongoing effort to minimize the stigma surrounding mental illness and improve mental health conditions by telling personal stories and experiences. Due to incorrect beliefs about mental health and fitness, people often suffer in silence as their conditions remain untreated for a long time. Mental health awareness is a vital social movement to increase access to healthcare and improve understanding.
A stigma is a diverse social experience where biases and stereotypes result in obstacles that prevent access to basic resources. Stigma can be understood through two lenses:
Self-stigma: This is where people with mental problems turn against themselves.
Public stigma: This type of stigma refers to where people with mental illnesses face discrimination from the general population.
Destigmatizing and Promoting Conversations Around Mental Health
Despite this subject being a taboo, it still persists, but it’s important to normalize conversations around it. Here are a few ways in which you can help to destigmatize mental illnesses and promote open conversation:
You can also enroll in a PMHNP online degree program for mental health nurse practitioners, which gives you the skills to treat your patients effectively and compassionately.
Stigmatization of mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, and burnout can contribute to isolation. As with other important conversations, mental health requires an ongoing conversation as new developments and challenges emerge. If you suspect any mental health issues, you can reach out to professionals, a friend or a family member for help.