Mental Health Month – Help Cure Stigma

May is Mental Health Month and along with The National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) you can help spread the word and#CureStigma.

This year NAMI has launched the campaign “Stigma Free”, in an effort to end stigma and create hope for those affected by mental illness. The campaign manifesto is: There’s a virus spreading across America. It harms 1 in 5 Americans affected by mental health conditions. It shames them into silence. It prevents them from seeking help. And in some cases, it takes lives. What virus are we talking about? It’s stigma. Stigma against people with mental health conditions. But there’s good news. Stigma is 100% curable. Compassion, empathy and understanding are the antidote. Your voice can spread the cure. 

Join NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness in their campaign to #CureStigma.

Florida Center for Recovery invites you to share this information and help spread the word about the stigma related to substance use disorder (SUDs), as well. It is important to understand that mental health conditions and SUD’s are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Understanding these conditions isn’t only knowing they exits and knowing about their symptoms, but being able to dispel on-going misunderstandings about those conditions.

According to SAMHSA’s 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) an estimated 43.6 million (18.1%) Americans ages 18 and up experienced some form of mental illness. In the past year, 20.2 million adults (8.4%) had a substance use disorder. Of these, 7.9 million people had both a mental disorder and substance use disorder, also known as co-occurring mental and substance use disorders.

Helping to change the way the world sees substance abuse and mental health disorders can help break down stigmas as barriers to care and get people the help they need and deserve. You can help to change the way the world sees substance abuse and mental health by:

  • Offering compassionate support

  • Displaying kindness to people in vulnerable situations

  • Listening while withholding judgment

  • Seeing a person for who they are, not what substance they use or what mental health condition they have

  • Educating yourself by learning about substance use disorder and mental health disorders

  • Treating struggling individuals dignity and respect

  • Avoiding hurtful labels

  • Replacing negative attitudes with evidence-based facts

  • Speaking up when you see someone being mistreated because of their condition

  • Take action to push for better legislation and policies to improve the lives of individuals struggling with addiction and mental health condition.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction and a co-occurring mental health condition we ask you to reach out to a trusted person for compassion, support and understanding before it is too late. There is  help available, if you ask for it. Know that the illness does not make the person.

For comprehensive addiction and mental health treatment information call Florida Center for Recovery at: :  800-851-3291