People develop mental health and substance use disorders for many reasons:
- For some it may be genetic
- For others it may be the result of a life experience
- They may be the result of another illness, and …
- Sometimes we simply don’t know why
These are “health” fears just like diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, or arthritis.
If mental health and substance use disorders are “health” challenges, why are people often treated differently?
Stigma refers to the negative attitudes and negative behaviors toward people with substance use and mental health disorders.
Mental health and substance use disorders are actually quite common.
About 1 in 5 people has a mental disorder during the course of a year.
There are a variety of treatments available. Treatment works and people really do recover! Unfortunately, stigma often becomes a wall to people. This can seriously impact recovery.
You can help fight the negative attitudes and behavior associated with mental health and substance use disorders!
People with mental health and substance use disorders live, work, go to school, and volunteer in your community. They are family members, friends, and neighbors. They serve our country and are meaningful society members.
Help and inspire people in their recovery from mental health and substance use disorders We should treat them the same as we do people who face any serious health condition.
You Can Help
- Know the facts
- Teach others
- Choose your words carefully
- Be aware of your own attitude and behavior
- Be helpful and caring
- Include everyone in events
Together We Can Beat Stigma
Famous people are not the only ones who face serious health conditions. They can – and do – test anyone. Your aunt, your father, your sibling, your child, your neighbor, people you work with, your boss, your teacher … and yes, even YOU may face them.