Stigma of Mental Health
People who have a mental illness may experience stigma as a result of social misperception. Words like "crazy," "nutcase," "lunatic," "psycho," and "cuckoo" belittle and contribute to the stigma that already surrounds people with mental health problems. To help reduce stigma on our campus we deliver a number of education programs and workshops which you can register for online.
To help make a difference yourself today you can learn more about mental illness and also start questioning what you hear using the STOP acronym.
Ask yourself, does what I’m hearing:
Stereotype people with mental disorders?
Trivialize or belittle the person with the disorder or the illness itself?
Offend the person with a mental disorder by insulting them?
Patronize the person treating them with mental disorders as if they aren’t as good as others?
Top Mental Health Myths Dispelled
People with mental health problems are violent and dangerous
Despite what you see, hear, or read in the media, people with mental health disorders are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of violence rather than causes of violence. When someone is suffering from a mental health disorder they are much more likely to hurt themselves than to hurt someone else.
Mental health problems only happen to people who are poor and/or less intelligent
Mental health problems affect everyone equally regardless of income, class, race, culture, or intelligence. Studies actually show that most people with mental illness have average or above-average intelligence.
Mental health problems are a sign of personal weakness
Nobody chooses to become mentally ill. It’s an illness and not a sign of weakness or laziness. When someone is mentally unwell, they need professional help just like someone who is suffering from a physical illness.
Mental health problems are rare
1 in 3 Canadians will experience a mental health problem throughout their lifetime. Over the course of a year, 1 in 5 Canadians will suffer from a mental health problem. There are many different types of mental health problems which affect people differently.