Mental health is a complex issue that can range from good to poor, and stigma often holds people accountable for their condition. It can be difficult to talk about mental health issues, as it can seem too personal or complex. Stigma can cause people to feel ashamed for something out of their control and prevent them from seeking help.
hile stigma has reduced in recent years, progress has not been quick enough. To promote positive mental health and prevent mental illness, businesses should create a culture that encourages open discussions about mental health. The mental health community must raise their voices against stigma and work towards creating a culture that supports mental health.
Language matters in mental health: Be conscious
Phrases to avoid X
Crazy, psychotic, insane, out of control, extreme, attention seeking, chaotic
It’s ok to say √
Mental illness, struggling, mental health condition, needs extra support, person’s behaviour was unusual, working through problems
6 ways to overcome the stigma of mental illness
#1 Educate yourself and others
Share mental illness data with family, friends, coworkers, and classmates
#2 Encourage equality between physical and mental illness
Speak up when you hear others make mental illness stereotypes
#3 Show compassion for those with mental illness
Recognize them as people rather than their illnesses.
#4 Choose empowerment over shame
Treat all people with respect and dignity; do not judge, label or discriminate
#5 Be honest about treatment
Share your mental illness experience to dispel myths and inspire others.
#6 Be conscious of language
Avoid language that prioritises illness over people. Say ‘a person with bipolar disorder’, not ‘that individual is bipolar’.