Today marks World Mental Health Day. This is a day dedicated to fighting the stigma against all mental illnesses. Despite the advancements in research and growing awareness, there is still negativity surrounding mental illness and those who suffer from it.
Some facts that you may not know about mental illness:
On average, about 1 in 4 people will experience a mental illness meaning that the likelihood is that you probably know a handful of people who suffer with a condition.
Although there has been increasing research and awareness of mental illness, 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems experience discrimination on a daily basis.
Despite the crippling misconception that mentally ill people are violent, it has actually been proven that people with a mental illness are more likely to be a victim of violence.
In the past decade, many public figures have spoken out about mental illness. A lot of comedians use stand-up as a medium to communicate their experiences such as Ruby Wax and Stephen Fry. Comedy is a very powerful tool, especially when it comes to discussing issues such as mental illness, because the comedian is taking control of how it is portrayed. It is an effective way of bringing these issues to a mainstream audience and through word of mouth, they can go away and reenact the jokes to their family and friends. This is just one of the many ways to fight the stigma against mental illness and end the discrimination that the majority of those with conditions face.
There are negative connotations attached to mental illness and it is important to use today as a turning point to create a society which embraces those with mental health issues and show that it is nothing to be ashamed of.
Use today to spread awareness, smile and respect.