With more than 61 million U.S. adults experiencing some form of mental illness, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has issued an eight-point guideline for battling the stigma surrounding mental health and getting care. People sometimes delay or altogether avoid getting help because they fear it will cost them a job, family, friends and general social acceptance.
NAMI suggests these eight efforts every individual can make:
- Offer your support to others during their struggle and recovery.
- Be open to conversations about mental health.
- Encourage equality in how people perceive physical illness and mental illness.
- Join the dialogue about mental health at the local, state and national levels to advocate for positive change.
- Learn about mental health to educate yourself and others.
- See the person, not the illness—strive to listen and understand.
- Take action to raise awareness.
- Use respectful language rather than terms like “crazy” and “psycho.”
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.