Break The Stigma & Speak Up

According to Merrium- Webster’s dictionary, stigma is “a mark of shame or discredit”.

Every single person in this world has mental health, some are thinking positively, some may be negative for a period of time, why is it that when we are having negative thoughts there is this stigma about talking about it? Why is it that if something is wrong, we feel as though we need to hide and cover it up? Is it because we feel as though we are going to be judged, thought down upon, and passed to the side? Will people think we are “crazy”?, Why bother saying something when your know you are going to get the classic response of  ” you just need to snap out of it and move on”.

We are living in a world where “1 in 5 Canadians will personally experience a mental health condition or illness” and  “Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age” (Mental Health Commissions Canada, 2013).  We are living in a world where the World Health Organization is stating “depressive disorders are already the fourth leading cause of the global disease burden and are expected to rank second by 2020, behind ischemic heart disease but ahead of all other diseases” (WHO, 2001) There are resources there for people to reach out to but don’t because there is a stigma about talking about your problems.

 

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We need to look beyond the physical health and dig a little deeper, just because mental health isn’t visible that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Talking about your problems and your negative thoughts and worries is an extremely difficult task to tackle.  The person receiving this information from you should be able to respond in the appropriate way to guide you and comfort you if need be. We need to prepare ourselves with the resources and abilities to face these tough conversations with our loved ones. We all need to be able to be that listening ear when someone needs to talk, not push them away and tell them to get over it. Often times people just want someone to listen after they take all their courage to even start the conversation.

What we as a community, society, country, world need to STOP this stigma about talking, we need to turn on our listening ears on if that is all we do. We need to make it socially acceptable to talk about our hidden issues. Life is too short to be consumed with sadness, hate, hopelessness and worry. So speak up, don’t be afraid to talk or be there to listen ❤

References:

  • Mental Health Commission of Canada (2013). Making the case for investing in mental health in Canada.
  • A product of NMH Communications. World Health Organization, Geneva, 2001.

 

Don’t be afraid to speak up, here are a few local external sources

 

 

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