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erin cuteAfter posting: Stigma #Whereistand a lot of treatment providers, mental health consumers, and other Where I Stand readers had something to say. Let’s hit some highlights. All quotes below are taken from a discussion board on linkedin based on Stigma #Whereistand. None of the quotes below represent views held by Where I Stand representatives, they are simply posted to demonstrate differing opinion. Erin Casey, co-founder of Where I Stand shares her response at the end. Would you like to weigh in on the conversation about Stigma? email your thoughts to whereistandblog@gmail.com or comment on the blog below! ❤ Stay Strong
Are they normal or do they pose a risk?

We all try to remove stigma but the public need[s] help and understanding if stigma is to be removed. as to invite contact with the general description mental illness does not tell whether the person is actually “normal” or if forensic could pose a risk. Many people suffer a range of mental illnesses but can work and are safe and should be treated like anybody else. However their are also cases that are more extreme and not safe (and generally attract more publicity ) How do you think we could best present information so others would not stigmatise unfairly and be able to distinguish the ramifications of different types of illness.

It requires more than just the patient-client interaction

I think that therapists- psychiatrists, nurses, social workers- should be more friends and family orientated and call in, speak to all. This requires patient agreement, cooperation and involvement. We also need non government organisations to speak up and for those who have recovered and are confident to ” come out”.

A human being is a human being

Having worked in treatment pathways for mental health, alcohol, drugs and criminal offenders the first thing I noticed despite theories on best practice patients are put in a box and labelled throughout !!!! In my personal interaction with patients the first thing I do is create a relationship where they are treated as a normal human being with a problem in the same way I would treat someone, say , with high blood pressure.

Erin’s response: 

EVERYONE regardless of diagnosis or lack there of needs to be educated about mental health. Mental health stretching far beyond the definitions and descriptions of disorders. The truth is that WE ALL have mental health regardless if we have a disorder or not. So, we all need to be educated about how to maintain our own mental health by promoting wellness in emotions, mental, physical and spiritual. In doing that conversations can be had about what we need as individuals and also how we can collectively help each other by becoming aware of risky behaviors and knowing appropriate actions if that happens.

How do we do that? 

Education. Education starting with young people. Asking children, adolescents and young adults how they deal with stress, how they feel when things change in their day, and starting the conversation about mental health there then extending it to places such as defining depression and other mental health concerns. Teaching individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms in their own life and in the lives of the people closest to them.

Finally, it is important to note that today people see the most extreme cases of mental illness displayed in movies and crime shows this leads most people to vastly misunderstanding mental health, because we all have it and we all have to work for it (but just like with anything else some have to work harder at it). With that most people with a diagnosis are NOT extreme and are NOT dangerous that’s just what makes the news, and is in hollywood.

1 in 4

teens, young adults and adults have a diagnosable mental illness.

….

Stigma

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.

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