Break the Stigma this World Mental Health Day
As the world experienced the unprecedented economical impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now seeing a negative effect on the mental health of millions of people. We know that the levels of anxiety, fear, isolation, social distancing and restrictions, bereavement, job loss and uncertainty have taken a mental health toll, which we are only now seeing the fallout of in the population.
With mental health issues at an all-time high, why do we still see stigma within our society?
Stigma is one of the key factors contributing to poor mental health due to delays in treatment. This then reduces the chances that a person with mental health issues will receive appropriate and adequate care.
Several studies show that stigma usually arises from a lack of awareness, lack of education, lack of perception, and the nature and complications of the mental illness. For example, odd behaviours and violence (Arboleda-Florez, 2002).
The consequences of stigma can be severe. With it comes a lack of understanding and support, which can be invalidating and painful, stigma can carry more severe consequences, including fueling fear, anger, and intolerance.
People who are subjected to stigma are more likely to experience:
- Increased feelings of shame and self-doubt
- Reluctance to seek out treatment
- Delayed treatment, which increases morbidity and mortality
- Social rejection, avoidance, and isolation
- Worse psychological well-being
- Bullying, harassment and/or violence
Continued stigma is likely to cause severe direct disability and indirect economic implications.
At Onebright, we are on a mission this World Mental Health Day to break the stigma, and to help society view mental health issues the same way we view physical health conditions.
Staying mentally well should be given the same priority by policymakers, governments and society as keeping physically fit.
Join us in this view by sharing this blog with #BreakTheStigma