Mental Health Information and Stigma
What is Mental Health?
A state of wellbeing in which the individual realizes his/her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to his/her community.
What is Mental Wellness
An internal resource that helps us think, feel, connect, and function; it is an active process that helps us to build resilience, grow, and flourish.
Importance of Mental Wellness
A stronger ability to cope with life’s stressors, a positive self-image, healthier relationships, better productivity, and higher quality of life.
Mental Health Concerns
Anything that causes a person to believe their mental health may be suffering; could b a symptom, a group of symptoms, or a diagnosable mental health condition.
Mental Health Condition
A set of related symptoms that have been recognized by the mental health community; includes conditions defined in the DSM-V, ICD-11, and by people with lived experience.
Substance Use Disorder (SUD)
Recurrent use of alcohol and/or drugs cause clinically significant impairment, including health problems, disability, and failure to meet major responsibilities at work, school, or home.
First hand, personal, experience dealing with a mental health or substance use challenge.
Stigma – negative, judgmental, and/or discriminatory attitudes toward mental health challenges and those who live with them
Self-stigma – negative attitudes and shame regarding an individual’s own mental health, resulting from internalizing public stigma
Ways to Stop the Stigma
- Talk openly about mental health
- Educate yourself and others
- Be conscious of language
- Encourage equality between physical and mental wellness
- Show compassion for those with mental challenges
- Choose empowerment over shame
- Increase awareness
- Acceptance of others
- Spreading the word
- Be honest about treatment
- Don’t harbor self-stigma
- Take the StigmaFree Pledge
Normalizing Mental Health: Terms to Know & Statistics
Terms to Know
Stress – a feeling of emotional or physical tension in response to being overwhelmed or unable to cope with mental/emotional pressure
Trauma – an emotional response to a disturbing, scary, or shocking experience that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope
Therapist – a mental health professional trained to help individuals understand and cope with their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors; may assess and/or diagnose mental health conditions
Psychiatrist – a licensed medical doctor who has completed additional psychiatric training; can diagnose mental health conditions, prescribe and manage medication, and provide therapy
Recovery – a process of change through which individual’s improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential
Social Determinants of Health – the conditions in which people live, learn, work, and play that impact their health and quality of life
Statistics & Information
- 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, however, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their health
- About half of Americans will meet criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, with symptoms starting by age 24 for majority of people
- The average delay between symptom onset and mental health treatment is 11 years, meaning a lot of people spend months or years facing mental health challenges before getting a diagnosis
- Delays in treatment for mental health conditions are longer than for many other health conditions
- It is never too early to seek treatment for your mental health and intervening in the early stages can save lives and is critically important for people living with mental health conditions
- Approximately 6.5 million people in the US have an intellectual disability
- Approximately 1-3% of the global population has an intellectual disability (approximately 200 million worldwide)
- IDD is significantly more common in low-income countries – 16.41 in every 1,000 people
Mental Health America (MHA) Screenings
Take a Mental Health Test! Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
- General website
- Feeling down, depressed, hopeless, poor appetite/overeating, tired/little energy, etc.
- Feeling nervous, anxious, worry too much, restless, feeling annoyed/irritable, etc.
- Feeling familiar surroundings be strange/unreal, hearing unusual noises, feeling not in control, etc.
- Feeling need to cut down on alcohol/drugs, feeling bad/guilty about use, annoyed about criticism over use
Online screening tools are meant to be a quick snapshot of your mental health. If your results indicate you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, consider sharing your results with someone. A mental health provider (such as a doctor or a therapist) can give you a full assessment and talk to you about options for how to feel better.
“Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.” — Joubert Botha