Across the nation and throughout Nebraska countless groups and individuals are working tirelessly to break down the stigma often associated with mental illness. Community walks, public forums, and statewide rallies have been held to promote awareness, acceptance, understanding, and support for individuals and families touched by mental illness.
Stigma leads to …
Discrimination against people who have mental illnesses keeps them from seeking help. While 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental disorder, estimates indicate that nearly two-thirds of all people with a diagnosable mental illness do not seek treatment, especially people from diverse communities. Lack of knowledge, fear of disclosure, rejection of friends, and discrimination are a few reasons why people with mental illness don’t seek help.
Do use respectful language.
Do emphasize abilities, not limitations.
Do tell someone if they express a stigmatizing attitude.
Don't portray successful persons with disabilities as super human.
Don't use generic labels such as retarded, or the mentally ill.
Don't use terms like crazy, lunatic, manic depressive, or slow functioning.
Source: SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center
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