Breaking the Stigma on Mental Health

May 5, 2018 by Cheryl Proska in Crisis Intervention, For Individuals, For Professionals, Mental Illness, News

Mental health.

It affects 44.7 million people in the U.S. alone; is the leading cause of disability worldwide; and is the most costly medical condition in our country, totaling $201 billion in expenditures.

Yet no one is talking about it.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports 18.3% of adults and 49.5% of children experience mental illness annually, while 1 in 25 adults and 1 in 5 children live with one or more serious psychological disorder. Access to insurance and treatment may have increased due to healthcare reform, but nearly 56.9% of Americans with a known mental illness are not receiving treatment.

Why are so few people getting help? There are many explanations for this gap, but the most common – by far – is stigma. Society’s view of mental illness stems from misconceptions. The term ‘mental health’ has become synonymous with words like ‘weak,’ ‘crazy,’ and ‘dangerous.’ To avoid the embarrassment, discrimination, and bias linked to seeking medical support, many choose to ignore the condition altogether. This cycle of avoidance often continues until a breaking point is reached, typically resulting in extreme crisis.

How can we solve this problem? By ending the stigma through education and conversation.

In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month, IVA is joining the fight to end mental discrimination with “Breaking the Stigma on Mental Health.” This three-part blog series will explore common mental health conditions; warning signs and treatment options; and how to help yourself or a friend struggling with mental illness.

Check out Part 1: Common Conditions today!

For immediate access to resources, or to learn how you can get involved with breaking the stigma of mental health, visit:

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