In today’s world, it is very common to hear the words “mental health”. Teens all over the world struggle with mental health disorders. Mental illness is a crisis in our society that we need to address. One of the primary ways that we can help is to reduce the stigma around the issue. Reducing the stigma around mental health will increase the likelihood of people feeling safe enough to access help. Increased access to services and support will help reduce negative outcomes and improve quality of life for people with mental illness.
In 2017 there was a total of 6,213 suicides in the UK and Republic of Ireland. (Samaritans.org). Unfortunately, there is a negative stigma surrounding mental illness and people who suffer from it. Stigma can cause the person to be unwilling to receive help or treatment, make them believe that they will never succeed or that it’s impossible for the situation to improve.
In contrast, people who are supported by services or support systems are less likely to be Involved in crime, commit suicide or experience homelessness. People who are not properly medicated often turn to drugs to get relief from the pain. Drug use or unmanaged symptoms of mental illness can make it extremely difficult to get or keep a job. Without a job, they cannot secure housing. In. many cases, if caught with illegal drugs, they can be sent to prison. When supported, they won’t feel that they need to turn to that lifestyle. (mayoclinic.org)
Some people would say it is not safe for people with mental illness to be in the community. Many people believe that people with mental illness are violent and dangerous. Many people do not understand the different type of mental illnesses and are misinformed about the dangers those who suffer from them represent.
People who suffer from mental illness are actually 10 times more likely to be the victims of violent crime instead of committing them. In fact, statistics say only 3%-5% of people with a mental disorder commit violent acts. When people feel safe from discrimination and judgement, they are more likely to seek treatment. This makes them less likely to self-medicate and therefore reduces drug related crimes.
Clearly when we reduce the stigma around mental health it increases safety for the person with the mental illness and the community that they live in.
Mental Health Myths and Facts . n.d. U.S Department of Health & Human Servces . March 2019. .
Staff, Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic . 24 May 2017. 3 march 2019 .
—. Mayo Clinic Staff . 24 may 2017. Mayo Clinic . 3 march 2019. .
Suicide: Facts and Figures. 2019. March 2019. .