The days are getting longer, the nights are getting warmer, and the sun is shining brighter. But you know what’s missing? Mental health awareness.
The month of May is considered to be the mental health awareness month. With the growing number of people experiencing mental health issues yet not being able to get them diagnosed because of the stigma that prevails in society, it’s important that we all talk about mental health issues and work towards ending the stigma related to mental illness.
As the most loved and trusted healthcare company in the UAE, we understand the importance of creating awareness about mental health issues. And that’s why we are here to raise awareness and help end the stigma that is associated with mental health issues.
What Is Mental Health Stigma?
Mental health stigma is mostly associated with societal disapproval. They are also identified as negative feelings and attitudes held by society towards people suffering from mental disorders.
It’s the belief that people with mental illness are different from “normal” people, and that those differences make them inferior. These ideas can be deeply harmful and might even prevent people from seeking help when they really need it.
Mental health stigma is often rooted in ignorance and fear, but it goes beyond that. People who experience mental health stigma may feel ashamed of their diagnosis or they may be afraid to seek help. They may avoid socialising or sharing their story in order to keep their diagnosis a secret. The effects of stigma can be harmful to one’s well-being, especially if one fights mental illnesses such as anxiety, bipolar disorder, or depression.
How Important is Mental Health Awareness Month?
In a society where mental illness is still a highly stigmatised topic, mental health awareness is more important than ever, especially during mental health awareness month.
Research shows that half of the people who are suffering from mental health issues avoid reaching out for help or rather delay their treatments anticipating discrimination and shame that they might receive from our society.
This is something that we should all take into consideration because stigma leads to prejudice and fear which will shatter the self-confidence of a person dealing with mental illness and their right to safely exist on earth. This is absolutely why it is important to have a mental health awareness month to address all the stigmas and help eradicate the same.
Mental health awareness month provides an important opportunity for people to speak up against stigma, discuss their own struggles, and promote a better understanding of their emotional needs.
What are the Stigmas Associated with Mental Health Disorders?
We conducted a social media survey and asked teenagers a question about the most irrelevant statements and common misconceptions about mental health stigma that they had to endure in their lives.
The following are some of the dynamic responses we received from from the crowd:
- Being someone with bipolar disorder, it’s hard for me to survive without being labelled as an attention seeker.
- The common saying I hear all the time is that time heals everything, so you can go with the flow for now.
- People mistakenly believe that an extrovert is immune to mental disease.
- I’ve heard it’s impossible to be outgoing, conversational, charming, and miserable at the same time.
- I lost track of how many times my mental health was dismissed: Depression? No, you are just overreacting.
- I’m tired of how people are constantly trying to normalise depression saying it happens to everyone.
- One more pointless joke about personality problems is something that irritates me.
- It’s tragic that many think of communicating sadness and opening up as a demand for attention.
- I’ve repeatedly heard that the whole mental awareness thing is a disgrace.
- Don’t worry, you’ll be fine if you get married, and if you get married, you’ll be fine if you have a kid,” society told me when I was depressed.
- Postpartum depression is a myth to my family.
The responses are overwhelming and surprising because people are still not aware of the significance of mental health issues. which is why it’s high time that we talk about the importance of mental health awareness.
Sometimes talking about mental health can be difficult. It’s a topic that people would rather not address or perhaps something that they might find uncomfortable opening up about. But, considering the amount of humiliation endured by people who deal with mental health issues on a daily basis, mental health awareness is definitely an important conversation we need to have in our society.
So, in this month and in the coming days of our lives, let’s make it a point to understand the importance of addressing mental health issues and educating people about the relevance of mental health awareness.
In a nutshell, let’s all come together and make our society inclusive and a better place to be in. Here’s to mental health awareness!