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Stigma is defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” There is still some stigma associated with mental health disorders and this can greatly affect people needing to seek help for their mental health struggles. Fear of stigma keeps people suffering because they are afraid of what others will say or do to them once they have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. Sadly, stigma can affect people as they are suffering, while they are in treatment, and even when they are on a healthy road to recovery. Whether you are someone who is affected by mental health struggles or not, there are some very simple things you can personally do to help reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues that so many people are affected by on a daily basis. 

Educate Yourself

It is important to not make comments or judgments about issues and circumstances that you really do not understand. Few of us are experts with knowledge about every mental health illness out there. Everyone has unique situations and will experience mental health in their own way. Making generalizations or stereotyping those with mental health issues can be extremely hurtful and spread inaccurate information. 

Include Everyone

Stigma can be so harmful because there is the fear of rejection that comes along with it. Make it a point to include everyone in whatever it is that you are doing. As you spread inclusivity, others will see what you are doing and hopefully begin to follow suit. Leaving people out is just plain mean and judging others is cruel. If we all took our time to simply be nicer to one another, this world would be a much nicer and better place. 

Choose Your Words Carefully

We often do not mean to offend others. Sometimes we talk before we think about what we are saying and this can hurt feelings and make others feel rejected. Thinking about what we are saying before we say it is an easy way to help reduce stigma and all of the negativity that goes along with it. 

Stigma is one of the main reasons that so many people fear getting help for their mental health struggles. They fear rejection, being treated differently, or being outcast simply because they got a label for what they are experiencing. We all have the ability to help reduce stigma. We can educate ourselves and educate others. It’s important to not believe stereotypes or make judgments about others when we really do not fully understand a diagnosis. Letting others know that seeking help is a brave and worthy endeavor is key to reducing the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. Here at The Guest House, we are ready to support anyone needing help with their mental health. Call us today to learn more about the different options we have at (855) 483-7800.