(Campaign to Lead, Educate, Assist and Remove the Mental Illness STigma)
More than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness in their lifetime. Sadly, only forty percent of adults and fifty percent of youth receive the needed treatment. This is mostly because of the widespread stigma attached to mental illness. Societal prejudices create reluctance and shame in individuals seeking help.
The Mental illnesses come from the brain and should not be thought of any differently from physical illnesses. The brain is a major organ that connects to and controls various other organs. So when the brain is ill, it affects the whole body and the overall well being. Substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide are very common and dangerous in those with mental illnesses. These can be prevented with timely treatment. The good news is that most mental illnesses are easily treatable.
Easy Ways You Can Help Reduce the Stigma
- Talk openly about mental health. Social media has become a great space for positivity.
- Educate yourself and others – respond to misperceptions or negative comments by sharing facts and experiences.
- Be conscious of language – remind people that words matter.
- Encourage equality between physical and mental illness – draw comparisons to how they would treat someone with cancer or diabetes.
- Be honest about treatment – normalize mental health treatment, just like other health care treatment.
- Show compassion for those with mental illness.
- Choose empowerment over shame.
CLEAR the MIST Foundation
CLEAR the MIST Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate mental illness stigma by educating the public through various media and other campaigns. It is supported by Psycamore Psychiatric Programs with locations in Biloxi, Jackson, and Southaven.