Thursday, October 10th of this year was marked as World Mental Health Awareness Day. The goal of the World Federation of Mental Health in establishing this day was to spread awareness about mental health and work to end the stigma faced by people seeking help with mental illness. Recent statistics have suggested that one in every five adults and one in every six children experience significant symptoms of a mental illness each year. Many people have begun to seek mental health treatment confidently, recognizing that seeking help for mental health struggles is no different than seeking help from your doctor when you have the flu. However, there are still many who suffer alone in silence because of the stigma that still exists in our world around mental health concerns. It is the goal of myself and my practice, along with the World Federation of Mental Health, and many allies of the mental health community to work to end this stigma.
Excitedly, a new generation of mental health allies is on the rise. Just this week Kelsey Lavin, Washburn University Nursing Student, went before the Holton City Council to request that our small section of the world declare a week of mental health awareness. The city council expressed a great interest in creating a proclamation declaring the week of October 7-13, 2019 as Mental Illness Awareness Week in Holton Kansas.
In honor of the awareness week we would like to share a few tips on how you can join us in spreading awareness and ending the stigma!
Here are the action-steps you can take:
- Educate yourself about mental illness and mental health treatment by speaking with a mental health professional or reading information available through our blog, the World Federation of Mental Health , or National Alliance of Mental Illness .
- Talk about mental health as you would physical health without blame, shame, or criticism.
- Stop participating in myths including that people with mental health conditions are violent or that mental health issues are responsible for violence.
- Stop using words like “crazy”, “psycho”, “bipolar”, and “OCD” to describe others or your own behavior.
- Take the quiz available through NAMI at to determine if you have a stigma and declare to change by taking the pledge.
- Check out the mental health resources available in Jackson County here.
- Share this post to spread awareness to those in your circle and community that could join the cause.
You can be a part of the solution to #CureStigma! Join us in the fight to spread awareness and end the stigma.