Halt Stigma for Those Seeking Mental Health Care

What is the problem?

Marginalizing innocent people.


A stigma just makes the problems worse.

Encourage others to take a better view of the mental health issues and consequences:

ignorance, and
serious illness.

Embarrassment is only a minor consequence.

Don’t be quick to judge what is normal.

dorothy and alice
A poor perspective could lead to:

(1) a person not getting mental healthcare or

(2) denying a patient’s opportunities, freedom, and rights.

Start looking at mental health this way:
Give those with a mental health diagnosis credit for recognizing their issues and seeking help.

= = = = =

Things are able to get better if more people dispel the negative stigma toward mental illness, don’t stereotype psychological diagnoses, avoid name-calling, and show respect for those who receive mental health services.

One idea for those seeking mental health care: If you have an issue, EMBRACE the challenge. Make honest attempts to manage issues.

[note: This is #6 in the Series – “Remove the Stigma from Mental Health”]

Recognition of some “warning signs” or the onset of mental distress and ideas for healthy living are suggested below.

Issues are listed in this essay – with some practical ideas – and silly [maintaining a sense of humor helps] solutions (in parenthesis):

  • Are you noticing poor reactions to unusual situations? (Figure out why and take some action, no matter how small the steps to improve the situations or reactions)
  • Experiencing constant and deep loneliness? (If you can’t help yourself, find someone who can; Many believe God is always present)
  • Decreasing self-esteem? What do you think of yourself? (Think about “getting a life”; You may be overcritical)
  • Frustrated or thwarted from using “items from wellness toolbox.” (You are kidding… the wellness toolbox includes activities you normally enjoy)

stigma name calling
R U unable to avoid triggers?

Note: a ‘trigger’ is a person, place, thing that leads to stress that may be harmful to thy mental health.          (2 Helpful Ideas: Don’t resort to violence; Step back and relax)

  • Being obsessed with things? (Snap out of it; Distract thyself)
  • Being uncaring or apathetic? (This is normal for some people; At least take care of yourself.)
  • Things laughed at last week are not at all funny now? (Evaluate whether depressed; work on your sense of humor)

More “warning signs” and alternatives:

  • Unable to take time to do everything on the personal WRAP* daily maintenance plan. Note: a WRAP is a Wellness Recovery Action Plan originally created by Mary Ellen Copeland. (Don’t sweat the small stuff, Complete the more important things)
  • Not going into the toolbox to pick and apply approaches when irritability frequency is high and intensity is higher than normal. (Make reminders to go to it and make toolbox ideas more accessible)
  • Peer counseling is poor. (Disregard peer advice or find better friends)
  • Becoming more sensitive to triggers? (Get tough in presence of triggers; Build up personal resistance toward stress: Avoid those triggers or minimize them and their effects)
  • Not keeping calm and cool. (Back off; Learn new techniques; Address sources of stress; Address symptoms and effects)
  • Missing appointments and becoming more unreliable. (Become more accountable; Start a better system to avoid undesired behavior)
  • Resorting to criminal, risky, and unethical behavior? (Don’t do it; Avoid environments that increase the likelihood of such things happening)
  • Cannot think, reason, focus, calculate, and communicate, as well as in the past? (Practice; Reduce demands; Ask for help, professional or friendly)

stigma accepted
More “warning signs” and alternatives:
Unable to cope with fear? (Learn new techniques; ‘De-arm’ fear; Eliminate factors causing fear)
Self-talk, reality checks don’t seem to be effective? (Re-evaluate; don’t take self so seriously)

  • Feeling like being treated like a child. (Suggest to those treating you poorly that they take a course in Transactional Analysis)
  • Issues arising with lack of self-control. (Put self on a positive reward system when am able to show self-control)
  • Unable to let-go of stuff that one really has no-control about? (Try harder; Use a distraction; Find new interests; Set priorities; Quit fussing; Get help; “Take a mental health day.”)
  • Frustration. (Avoid prosecution of self and others)
  • Feeling betrayed by someone who was trusted. (Polite confrontation; Write a letter and never send it)
Healthy Resilience
Healthy Resilience

More “warning signs” and alternatives:

  • No access to resources that would help client’s ability to maintain mental health. (Seek out other sources)
  • Just can’t arrange to leave work early. (Come in early or late or take longer breaks)
  • No place or time to meditate, pray, exercise, eat, take a bath, swim, sleep, etc.?
    (Take it one-step-at-a-time; Keep looking)
  • Not getting plenty of rest? (Schedule periods and track it)
  • Can’t get to the information or education in order to be empowered to self-help? (Ask the professionals)
  • Hearing a lot of yelling – Smelling a lot of poop – Seeing tragedy? (Oh man, trauma)

More “warning signs” and alternatives:

  • Can’t rely on any supporter to relate to own feelings? (Bribe a friend to see your point of view)
  • Finding that being very forgetful is frequent feeling? (There are some new drugs on the market for this)
  • Finding that many people are being offended by behavior? (They know what they can do if they don’t like you; Apologize and get better)
  • Can’t find any better friends and family? (May be hanging out in the wrong places)
  • Support group has become frustrated or stopped meeting? (Search for viable solutions)

stigma positive

For the well-being of millions of North Americans and billions of people, the stigma associated with mental health care must be eliminated.
The bias against those diagnosed with mental health conditions is much like racism. Ignorance, misplaced pride, lack of understanding, and unfounded fear are some of the reasons a negative view exists towards mental health care.

Mental illness will not go away on its own. Concerted action is necessary. Its stigma will also not go away magically.
As with physical illnesses – like cancer – early detection and access to treatment is very important.
The core of the English word disabled is abled. Those mentally disabled are capable people in many respects. Respect of others is the common-ground all humans share.

= = = = =

* WRAP is the program and approach created by Mary Ellen Copeland.


copyright MMXIII

revised in 2019
– Max’s Scout Services & Communications of the Americas, LLC – Woodside, CA
[ “for musement only” ]

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