October 17, 2016
Not a topic to be discussed in most social circles, and with plenty of stigmas attached, mental illness, in one form or another, affects at least tens of millions of Americans today. Because October is National Mental Health Month, Continuum’s home care experts would like to take this time to honor individuals who are living with a mental illness and help them to break the chains of silence. Particularly, we would like to encourage them and their loved ones to seek out treatment solutions that could bring about a higher quality of life.
Slowly but surely, celebrities and other people within the limelight have started to genuinely and vulnerably share their particular troubles with such incapacitating illnesses as anxiety and depression. But we continue to have quite a distance to go. Considerably less understood and more negatively perceived conditions, such as psychosis and schizophrenia, are still oftentimes covered over. The fact is, research obtained from the National Institutes of Health demonstrates that a psychosis diagnosis is the most highly stigmatized and discriminated against mental health issue.
Frighteningly, this fearfulness of stigmatization is leading to “a pervasive barrier that prevents many individuals in the U.S. from engaging in mental health care,” according to a 2014 literature review published in the Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services journal.
So, how can we assist those with mental health concerns to feel comfortable in sharing their challenges, enabling them to discover the treatment they require? Various mental health advocacy organizations are making advances. For instance, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has generated the Stigmafree Pledge to help promote awareness and acceptance. And, the American Psychological Association (APA) has launched an academic journal, Stigma and Health.