By Nora H.
Each year billions of people across the world wake up facing the reality of living with a mental illness. In the United States one out of five people are affected by mental illness; however, those individuals who are affected are not always recognizable to the public. In today’s society, mental health is stigmatized. Those who have a mental illness try to hide, feel shame and are embarrassed. Seeking help by going to a physician or a therapist has a stigma attached and diminishes the importance of the condition.
Stigma is toxic to one’s mental health conditions. Stigma creates an environment of shame, fear, and silence, which prevents individuals from seeking treatment. Only 41% of adults in the U.S. with a mental health condition received services in the past year. Among adults with a serious mental illness, 62.9% received mental health services in the past year. Because of stigma, those individuals living with mental illness can often times rely on self-medicating, which could lead to other health problems including a substance use disorder. Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5% had a co-occurring mental illness.
However, stigma can be diminished, and treatment should be encouraged. To fight the stigma attached to mental health, society needs to be educated and taught to display compassion, empathy, and understanding. Be the voice and help change mental health stigma. Encourage those living with a mental illness to seek treatment without judgment.
Highland-Clarksburg Hospital is a private, non-profit mental health hospital located in Clarksburg, WV. HCHI offers services for youth, adults, and forensic patients, all suffering from mental health problems.
In the following weeks in May, we will feature blog posts written by staff and therapists here at Highland-Clarksburg Hospital. Posts will include information about breaking the stigma, warning signs of a mental health condition, improving mental health with exercise, nutrition, and mental health, and the top diagnosed mental illnesses.
For more information about Highland-Clarksburg Hospital, visit HighlandClarksburgHospital.com or call 304-969-3100. Keep up-to-date with our activities and events by following our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HighlandClarksburgHospital