Stigma* is one of the largest issues when it comes to encouraging people to seek mental health support. Most young adults no longer look down on other people for seeking help. [source] That’s good, because young adults are more likely to tell a friend about a mental health struggle before telling anyone else, including parents, teachers, and health care providers. However, that level of support still varies across cultures, racial/ethnic communities, and age.
Rachel shares how expressing ourselves and talking about mental health can help others feel less alone.
Mental Health Education Reduces Stigma
The top way to reduce stigma is proximity or when someone close to you shares their lived experience. This means young adults and people with lived experience have a critical role in developing stories and programs to encourage conversations about mental health. These programs can teach people what mental health really is, about their rights, and about what resources exist. Community-wide promotion and education can change norms around how people support one another and they give people permission to take care of their own mental health and well-being.
*Stigma = a mark of shame associated with a circumstance or person, such as a person with a mental illness.
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> 40% of young adults with anxiety or depression seek treatment [source]. For comparison, 63% of people seek care for common physical issues like migraines [source]
65% of untreated college students report low stigma and positive beliefs about treatment [source]
States that mandate school mental health policies have lower rates of youth suicide and substance abuse. [source]
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