Mental health and stigma: Myths vs. truth

By Denise Holcomb

When was the last time you thought about your mental health?

Maybe it was when you noticed a drastic change in your moods. Maybe you began having insomnia.

Since the pandemic, mental health has become a part of the conversation more than ever before. It is no longer just a topic discussed primarily at medical visits, but also in the workplace, schools, churches, and even at the dinner table.

The pandemic has launched a massive attack on efforts to remove the stigma associated with mental illness, drug use and suicide. In Ohio alone, grants are being distributed to combat the stigma.

The question that remains in so many minds is “what is stigma?” I recently wrote an article to address this: https://www.thejourney4me.com/

One thing that can help remove stigma is a better understanding of the myths so many have grown to believe. Understanding myths leaves room for seeking truth.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes a clear and direct statement concerning mental illness. It states, “there are still many harmful attitudes and misunderstandings around mental illness, which may make people ignore their mental health, fuel stigma, and make it harder to reach out for help.”

To see where your understanding of mental illness may be, the CDC has put together a short 10-question quiz. Consider taking a few minutes to quiz yourself about your beliefs.

Once you have taken the quiz, you may want to dig deeper. Learning more about mental illness can help to remove the stigma.  You may want to continue with more quick-read articles like these:

The Mental Health Quiz: Mental Health Myths https://www.cdc.gov/mentalhealth/quiz/index.htm

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