The stigma that is attached to mental health
Posted by
20th Oct 2014

17 year-old Megan from Nottingham writes about the stigma that is attached to mental health and lists three actions that she thinks can help tackle it. Read more about Megan's experiences on her blog and don't forget to connect with her on Twitter @smegtc!

Stigma is a mark of disgrace or something that is shunned by society. So, why does mental health have a stigma attached to it? As far as I can see, mental illness is a disease of the brain, just like diabetes is a disease of the pancreas.

I genuinely believe the stigma attached to mental health can be abolished by following three actions;

  1. educating people on the effects and causes
  2. confronting the discrimination that sufferers and their close ones are put through
  3. challenging the negative stereotypes that this illness carries with it.

How is it fair that when someone falls ill with heart problems, they get taken to a hospital, yet when someone whose mental chemistry is out of balance they often get taken somewhere that is casually and generally referred to as a ‘nut house’ full of ‘crazy’, ‘nuts’ or ‘cuckoo’ people. Labels are for clothes, not illnesses and surely all illnesses deserve terms that are widely respected in society?

Do you not agree that the veil of silence around mental illness needs to be abolished for the sake of every body? The labels and stereotypes would not be there if having a mental illness was something less taboo than people make it out to be.

Thankfully, in more recent times mental illness has been a more faced up to subject, with media tackling it face on by displaying it in a more ‘easy to talk about’ light. E4’s My Mad Fat Diary (first aired January 2013) for example charged at the stigma face on.

By talking about things such as self harm, it makes the topic less of something that can just be brushed under the carpet and somewhat more of a mentionable subject, which is something I am extremely glad about.

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