Anti-Stigma Efforts - NAMI - Greater Des Moines
Anti-Stigma Efforts - NAMI - Greater Des Moines
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Anti-Stigma Efforts

Click here to view a mental health video created by North Fayette High School students. Published on May 4, 2015.
"Our High School composed a team of individuals to help bring awareness to the ever growing problem of mental health. We want you to know that you are not alone."

Stigma refers to negative attitudes (prejudice) and negative behavior (discrimination) toward people with substance use and mental health problems.  

USA Today Series Boston Globe - Spotlight Team - Series
Part 1:  The Cost of Not Caring:  Nowhere to Go Families in Fear
Part 2:  The Cost of Not Caring:  Stigma Set in Stone Police Confrontations
Part 3:  Mental illness cases swamp criminal justice system Community Care
Part 4:  Mental Disorders Keep Thousands of Homeless on the Streets Courts
Part 5:  40,000 suicides annually, yet America simply shrugs Prisons
Part 6:  The Fortunate Mother: Caring for a son with schizophrenia Homelessness
Part 7:  Substance abuse treatment often impossible to find Solutions
Part 8:  Solutions to woes of mentally ill exist but aren't used  
Part 9:  Early intervention could change nature of schizophrenia  

Stigma includes:

  • Having fixed ideas and judgments - such as thinking that people with substance use and mental health problems are not normal or not like us; that they caused their own problems; or that they can simply get over their problems if they want to
  • Fearing and avoiding what we don't understand - such as excluding people with substance use and mental health problems from regular parts of life (for example, from having a job or a safe place to live)

We all have attitudes and judgments that affect how we think about and behave toward others.  When we talk about negative attitudes and behavior toward others based on their gender, sexual orientation, culture, race or religion, we use the words prejudice and discrimination.  So let's call stigma what it really is.

"In Our Own Voice" is a recognized as an effective NAMI program to decrease stigma.  Two speakers (persons with mental illness) talk about the following topics:   Dark Days, Acceptance, Treatment, Coping skills and Successes, Hopes and Dreams.  Contact director@namigdm.org if you would like to schedule a presentation.

Resources and tools which display an effort toward reducing the discrimination against persons with mental illness.

Public service announcements from the "Hope Starts with You" campaign - "Every time a person gives time, energy or support or shares a personal story about a mental condition, there is a ripple effect that we like to call The NAMI Effect," 

Stop the Crazy Talk is an anti-stigma U-tube video created by Mental Health America Franklin County – it can be found here:

See the NAMI Public Service Announcements (PSAs) here 

              Stigma Free with Mayim Bialik
              Hope Starts with You
              Brighter Day
              Peace and Quiet

How You Can Be Stigma Free?

Step 1:  Educate Yourself and Others

Everyone knows a little about mental health issues but knowing the facts about mental illness can help you educate others and reject stigmatizing stereotypes. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Understanding mental health isn't only about being able to identify symptoms and having a name for these conditions but dispelling many false ideas about mental health conditions as well.

Step 2:  See the person and not the illness

1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition and each of them has their own story, path and journey that says more about them than their diagnoses. Whether you live with mental illness or are a friend, family member, care giver or medical professional getting to know a person and treating them with kindness and empathy means far more than just knowing what they are going through.

Step 3:  Take Action on Mental Health Issues

Our mental health care systems have been in crisis for far too long and often keep treatment and recovery out of the hands of many who need it. We can take action now as we push for better legislation and policies to improve lives for everyone. By lending your support you can show that this cause important to you and desperately needed for millions of Americans.

The Stigma Free Pledge

  1.  Learn About Mental Health Issues
  2.  See the Person and Not the Illness
  3.  Take Action on Mental Health Issues

Individuals, companies, organizations and others can all take the pledge to learn more about mental illness, to see a person for who they are and take action on mental health issues. Take the pledge and raise awareness.

Take the Pledge

Join the campaign to turn stigma into hope

Promote acceptance and actively challenge social stereotypes. Through powerful words and actions, we will shift the social and systemic barriers for those living with mental health conditions and encourage acceptance and understanding.

Individuals, companies, organizations and others can all take the pledge to learn more about mental illness, to see a person for who they are and take action on mental health issues. Take the pledge and raise awareness.

Become a Stigma Free Partner

Promote acceptance and actively challenge social stereotypes. Through powerful words and actions, we will shift the social and systemic barriers for those living with mental health conditions and encourage acceptance and understanding. 

 

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