Combatting mental health stigmas

Student weighs in on the stigma of mental health

UW-W+students+sit+on+the+benches+outside+of+Goodhue+Hall+enjoying+the+fall+weather+Nov.+14.

Kylie McCombe

UW-W students sit on the benches outside of Goodhue Hall enjoying the fall weather Nov. 14.

Taylor Freund, Contributor

Therapeutic sessions, resources, and addressing mental health are beneficial in anyone and everyone’s life. In recognizing mental health to be just as important to physical health, we all can help end the negative stigma surrounding mental health and seeking out or utilizing therapy services. 

Individuals of all ages who deal with mental health issues should be free to utilize resources available to them through therapeutic sessions without any negative connotations attached in order to receive the support they need. 

According to a study done by the World Health Organization (WHO), between 30 to 80 percent of people with mental health issues don’t seek out treatment. This range includes 50 percent of people with bipolar disorder, 55 percent with panic disorder, 56 percent with major depression, and 78 percent with alcohol use disorder. 

The importance of mental health care has shown progress over the last several years, however, it is nowhere near where it needs to be. Many people are scared of being stigmatized if they admit to needing any kind of help. For fear of being isolated, being seen as weak, or being judged by others are some of the main reasons’ individuals are hesitant to receiving psychological help. Among other factors, there are available resources to the public that can help even with any financial or insurance coverage concerns. If there was light shed on these resources available, people would not have to worry about any financial aspects and can focus more on seeking help. We can all do our part to help end the stigma of receiving psychological help. Something you may be asking yourself is, “What can I do?” This is what you can do:

  1. Speak up. You can do your part by speaking up about the importance of addressing mental health to friends, family, coworkers, anyone. Start by making the conversation. Often times, mental health is stigmatized just because people don’t talk about it. Help end this by starting the conversation. 
  2. Educate yourself and others. Take some time to learn more about different mental health illnesses and resources available if ever you or someone you know may need them. Even knowing national hotlines available is a huge help. This could be for domestic abuse, depression and suicide, eating disorders, general crisis, mental illness, sexual assault, and veterans, etc. 
    • Loveisrespect: 1-866-331-9474 (24/7)
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
    • The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386 (24/7)
    • National Eating Disorder Association: 1-800-931-2237
    • Crisis Text Line: Text SUPPORT to 741-741 (24/7)
    • National Alliance of Mental Illness: 1-800-950-6264
    • Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: 1-800-656-4673 (24/7)
    • Veterans Association: 1-800-273-8255 (24/7)
  1. Encourage equality between physical and mental health. Help end the stigma of receiving psychological help by encouraging and fighting for mental health to be just as important as physical health. Just like you want your friends and family to take care of themselves and be healthy, promote this for their mind as well. Let them know you care about their mental health and let it be known that it is okay for psychological help.

Submitted by: Taylor Freund

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