20 reasons we need to keep talking about mental health

20 reasons we need to keep talking about mental health

via Psychology Today by Allison Abrams

Nearly one in five adults in the United States lives with a mental health disorder. Only 44 percent of them receive treatment. According to a 2017 survey, 25 percent of adults with employer-sponsored health insurance and clinically significant behavioral health symptoms named “stigma or society’s attitude toward mental health” as the primary deterrent in seeking help.

In 2019, prevailing stigma around mental illness should not be a barrier to receiving treatment. So how do we end stigma and discrimination once and for all?

One of the most effective methods in combating stigma is talking about it. Another is through education, as discrimination in all its forms is born out of ignorance. Every May, organizations across the country such as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Mental Health America, commit to spreading awareness around mental illness, through such efforts. In honor of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, listed below are 20 powerful quotes, each finely articulating what may be incomprehensible for many: how it feels to live in a mind that is literally out of control. The hope is that as more people open up about their own struggles with mental illness, they will inspire others to do the same, and so on until it becomes so normalized that we will no longer have to use “stigma” and “mental health” in the same sentence:

“One of the things that baffles me (and there are quite a few) is how there can be so much lingering stigma with regards to mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. In my opinion, living with manic depression takes a tremendous amount of balls. Not unlike a tour of Afghanistan (though the bombs and bullets, in this case, come from the inside). At times, being bipolar can be an all-consuming challenge, requiring a lot of stamina and even more courage, so if you’re living with this illness and functioning at all, it’s something to be proud of, not ashamed of. They should issue medals along with the steady stream of medication.” —Carrie Fisher, Wishful Drinking

“I just want to say I’m so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues. They’re so important. A lot of artists deal with that. And we gotta take care of each other. So if you see somebody that’s hurting, don’t look away. And if you’re hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you.” —Lady Gaga, 2019 Grammy Awards speech

“I’m a good talker. But I soon learned that you can’t talk someone out of depression. Mental illness is real. And like everything else in life, it operates on a spectrum. Though there are common symptoms, everyone experiences it differently. Yet so many people live in shame, hiding their struggles, not seeking help. We, as a culture, have not fully acknowledged how much help is needed. The only real shame is on us for not being willing to speak openly. For continuing to deny that mental health is related to our overall health. We need to start talking, and we need to start now.” —Oprah Winfrey, Oprah.com

“Sadly, too often, the stigma around mental health prevents people who need help from seeking it. But that simply doesn’t make any sense. Whether an illness affects your heart, your arm or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there shouldn’t be any distinction. We would never tell someone with a broken leg that they should stop wallowing and get it together. We don’t consider taking medication for an ear infection something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t treat mental health conditions any differently. Instead, we should make it clear that getting help isn’t a sign of weakness—it’s a sign of strength—and we should ensure that people can get the treatment they need.” —Michelle Obama

…keep reading the full & original article HERE