Stigma is going to kill us – May is Mental Health Month post

For the last two years, I’ve written a post in observance of May is Mental Health Month.  This time around I want to focus on stigma. Webster dictionary defines stigma as a mark of shame or discredit. Well, there’s nothing shameful about having a mental illness. However, society believe otherwise.

It’s stigma that prevents us from reaching to those who need help because we don’t want to be associated with someone with a mental illness. Some of us grew up having “that crazy uncle” who was locked away in a room at Grandma’s house.  The truth is that Crazy Uncle (fill in the blank) may have been depressed or schizophrenic. Stigma prevents medical personnel from asking questions about mental health during an examination. You may overeat because you love food.  Or you may overeat because you suffer from anxiety. It’s stigma that makes us fearful of that homeless person who’s screaming at no one in the middle of the street. Studies have shown that those with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators.  It’s stigma that prevent those with mental illness from receiving treatment. It’s stigma that makes us even afraid to acknowledge that mental illness exists.  And it is stigma that will eventually kill us.

The time is now to speak up for mental health.  If you or someone you know needs help, don’t ignore it. Don’t hide from it.  That’s what stigma wants you to do.  Instead, stand up with your head held high and face it. Below are some resources to get you started. Take advantage of the last few days of May to take a stand against the stigma of mental illness.

American Psychological Association – http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/index.aspx

Mental Health America – http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info

American Psychiatric Association – http://www.psychiatry.org/mental-health

When life gets in the way

You may have noticed that my blog posts have slowed down to a crawl. My goal when I started Association Advocacy Chick was to produce fresh content at least twice a month. However, it seems like I’m lucky to get one post up per month.

While the mind is willing, the time just isn’t there right now. Don’t worry. I have no plans to stop Association Advocacy Chick (or blogging for that matter) any time soon. I love it too much and still have a lot to say. I’m just trying to get a handle on this schedule of mine. My plan is to get back on track later this month with my annual May is Mental Health Month post. Thanks to everyone who supports and reads this blog.

Talk to you later.

-S