The Consequences of Stigma toward Mental Illness

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The ugly truth is that forty percent of 11.4 million adults suffering from mental illness don’t seek treatment.  The top two reasons are the inability to afford mental care and the stigma that goes along with admitting psychiatric illness and seeking help.  When people who suffer from mental illness are treated with judgment, discrimination, and disdain they delay or avoid treatment.  They may also deny any symptoms, or they may be excluded from relationships, housing or employment.  This deeply affects the quality of life for these individuals and their loved ones. In order to reduce and ultimately expunge stigma toward mental illness, we need to understand, accept, sympathize and support those affected by it, either directly or indirectly.

Whether you have a mental illness or not, move past the misconceptions, and educate yourself with the facts about what mental health is, and what it is not.  Realize that someone with a mental illness is not able to just snap out of it. Realize that mental illness is actually quite common.  Realize that it affects everyone in one way or another.

Stigma reduction efforts should focus on the person rather than on the disease. It is important that the abilities and competencies of people with mental health problems are emphasized. To reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness the general public must learn how to reassure, be friends with, accept, and advocate for persons who seek or receive treatment for mental illness.

The Villa Orlando and Pasadena Villa’s Smoky Mountain Lodge are adult intensive psychiatric residential treatment centers for clients with serious mental illnesses. We also provide other individualized therapy programs, step-down residential programs, and less intensive mental health services, such as Community Residential Homes, Supportive Housing, Day Treatment Programs, and Life Skills training. Pasadena Villa’s Outpatient Center in Raleigh, North Carolina offers partial hospitalization (PHP) and an intensive outpatient program (PHP). If you or someone you know may need mental health services, please complete our contact form or call us at 407-215-2519 for more information.

 

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