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Mental Health Awareness – Shattering the Stigma

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May 8, 2023
Brandi Silver

This is Brandi Silver, FCS agent with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center. Our program today will focus on shattering the stigma surrounding mental health.

This stigma can result in reluctance to seek help or treatment. The negative beliefs, stereotypes and attitudes, connected to mental illness can result in intolerance and prejudice against those who struggle with mental health issues.

Exterminating the shame, fear, and discrimination associated with mental health is a critical step in empowering individuals to reach out for the help they need. Research shows that knowing or having contact with someone with mental illness is one of the best ways to reduce the stigma. Individuals speaking out and sharing their stories can have a positive impact. Knowing someone that struggles with mental illness can make it less scary and more relatable.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a few suggestions for individuals to help reduce this stigma.

First, talk openly about mental health and remind people that words matter. Encourage equality between physical and mental illness. Remind people to treat someone with mental illness like they would treat someone with cancer.

Let’s start the conversation and normalize mental health treatment. Educate yourself and others by spreading factual information and experiences to flatten misperceptions and negative comments. You can find more information on, your healthcare provider or reach out to the Extension office  at 764-9480.

This has been Brandi Silver with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Burke County Center reminding you to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health