By Skylar DeNoyer and Laura Dickman, BSW Interns
On October 10th, we celebrate World Mental Health Day and recognize the importance of MHPSS, mental health and psychosocial support. MHPSS includes support individuals receive to protect and promote their mental and physical health. One key component of MHPSS is treatment and prevention of psychiatric disorders. These disorders can include but are not limited to the treatment and prevention of depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Therefore, the key focus of World Mental Health Day this year is recognizing the importance of aiding in providing mental and psychosocial support, and the positive impacts it can make on the individual’s life.
Mental health support, treatment, and research has always remained in a state of constant change. In the early 90’s, the World Federation of Mental Health officially established a day on October 10th to be recognized as World Mental Health Day. Although there is still plenty of room for growth and support in the mental health community, the community has come a long way in terms of development of sensitivity and self-awareness towards mental health as a whole.
Our language towards mental health has improved as society continues to make efforts in eliminating usage of words such as “addicts'', by making the conscious choice to use the words “an individual with a substance use disorder” instead. By choosing to use the phrase “the individual with ___ disorder” we separate the individual from the mental illness or co-occurring disorders. By doing so we allow for a more supportive and comfortable environment for these individuals to receive the help they need. This is an example of how individuals have consciously made efforts to adjust their vocabulary in response to mental health support and reducing stigma.
Have you made a conscious effort to eliminate negative word-usage when addressing mental health or concerns of another individual?
If you did change your descriptive word-choice, how did it affect the individual you were communicating with?
How will you work to better support the community?
Do you have any personal biases that have prevented you from reaching out to support an individual? Please answer in the comments below.
Every individual struggles with personal biases, however it is important to be able to recognize these biases and where they come from, and why. If you personally struggle with feeling stigmatized, and underrepresented, it is not a shameful thing to reach out to your local mental health agencies for support. As well as working to set up personal and professional boundaries to protect your mental well being. Sometimes it can feel like a negative thing to tell others what your boundaries are, how they may address you, or how they may not address you. However it is one of the most important steps in advocating for your own mental health and reducing stigmas held on to by society.
Know that you are cared about and heard.
If you or a loved one are struggling with mental health issues, please feel free to give us a call or visit our website to schedule.