8 Ways to Help Change the Image of Mental Health Care

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.”

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