*Nervously gets on soap box*
End Stigma…. Fight Stigma……Argggggh!!! The word Stigma is actually causing more stigma. And it’s infuriating…..
Someone says to you “Whatever you do, don’t look over there”. Well, now you’ve drawn my attention to whatever it is i shouldn’t be looking at you twonk.
The problem with people who don’t ‘get’ mental illness isn’t because they are uneducated ignorant twerps , they’re nervous to be around people dealing with Mental Health.
“Mental health you say? Oh, right. I’m off.”
Mental Health’s greatest battle for acceptance is how it makes other people FEEL.
“What do i say?”
“I don’t want to be the one that makes them worse.”
“This is really awkward, i’d rather go a poke toothpicks in my eyes than chat to him.”
“I don’t get her jokes, am i supposed to laugh?”.
People make friends with people who make them feel good. People with mental health are not always capable of providing this. This is a barrier, not stigma.
We’re telling people who’ve never had an empathetic bone in their body to suddenly be something they’re not, it’s NOT going to work.
Mental Health has a tougher job of acceptance than diagnosises like cancer, which also suffers from social exclusion. Here’s a blog I wrote about How i borrowed words from a cancer website to support my husband.
What can we do:
Acknowledge that mental health issues are daunting for each and everyone of us
Create a culture where it’s OK to get it wrong, we all have to start somewhere
Emphasise how good feeling will come from just trying
Invent campaigns that not only provide those e-card things, but support for friends
Take brave steps to let someone with mental health make us feel good because they can, and they do.
Now check out the acronym above, because if we can achieve the above I think we can actually ACE IT.
I’m no expert, but i’m in love with a man who has so much help available to him, but for spouses and friends there is nothing, making it tougher to let us talk about his condition. Who supports us? I believe we need a new tack on mental health – support those who support those who are ill, and you’ll remove this so called stigma. And instead of exhausting ourselves from ‘fighting it’ or ‘ending it’ people will focus on the good (and the realism), because there really IS good.
I support the #timetotalk initiative happening on 4th feb 2016 in the UK. I’m i’m thankful that there are people out there who want to ‘end the stigma’ and create spaces for people to talk, i just have a few ideas too.
*stands off soap box with shaky legs and grabs a cup of herbal tea to reduce pacey heart rate*