2 Types of Mental Health Stigma
This article was inspired by an internet directory website, which will remain nameless, which allows companies to add up to 40 products and services to describe their business.
We got this error message when trying to add “Mental trauma support”:
As the image shows, we got the “You cannot add a profanity to Products & Services” message when trying to add “Mental trauma support” for our partner counselling business.
Probably predictable, but they also blocked “Mental health”, “Mental wellbeing”, “Mental support”, etc.
Then we got bored testing phrases, wrote a complaint to that company, and wrote this blog…
THE WORD MENTAL IS NOT A PROFANITY!
“Physical cheer” was not deemed to be a profanity. Whatever that might be. It is not one of our group’s direct products or services, although we do help people to be happy.
This all links to a topic we regularly talk about.
Mental health is not a profanity.
But there are still mental health stigmas, in some places, as though it was a profanity.
For mental health, you CAN say that…
We have found ourselves distinguishing between two types of stigma.
Ironically, the second stigma is talked about less and could be more of a problem.
What are the 2 types of Mental Health Stigma?
Our 2 types of Mental Health Stigma are:
- Not saying something feels off.
- Not getting professional help if something is off.
Stigma 1 – Not saying when something feels off
Sometimes, some people bottle thoughts and feelings up.
It may be feelings of anxiety, anger, overwhelm, trauma, sadness, loss, obsessions, compulsions, and more.
Sometimes that’s OK. The brain has an amazing way of dreaming problems out while you’re sleeping.
Sometimes it’s not OK.
Sometimes, those thoughts, feelings and habits linger.
Sometimes they start getting in the way of daily life.
That’s when it’s definitely time to speak up.
But it’s OK to speak up before then too.
There may be a real or an imagined stigma about speaking up.
Sometimes colleagues don’t know how to help, which is why workplaces should provide manager MHFA training and colleague training.
It’s better to speak up, so that people have the reasonable opportunity to help, rather than to suffer in silence.
Stigma 2 – Not getting professional help if something is off
This second stigma is spoken about less, but it appears to be festering in the background.
It can create a real risk for people who are struggling.
If a bad accident happens and somone is seriously physically harmed, we wouldn’t expect a chat with a friend to help.
It’s the same for mental health and being mentally harmed, from an incident or just wear and tear over time.
Mental health issues may need professional help.
We accept this stigma is exacerbated by the difficulty people face finding the right professional support.
Unfortunately, it is too easy to get stuck in a long waiting list (a 4 year wait for a 10 year old trying to get help still happens) and less effective therapies (there are over 400 types of mental health therapy out there. Keep looking.).
But the message for physical issues is the same for mental issues. Sometimes they heal. Sometimes they get worse. Sometimes they impact your life.
But without professional help, you have a greater chance of suffering.
And continuing to suffer is a bad idea when help could help.
If Help Would Help Get Help
Our simple message to anyone whose mental health is holding them back.
You don’t have to stuggle by yourself.
Add your comments about mental health stigma
What do you think about the 2 types of mental health stigma? Are there others? Have you experienced them? What can be done?
Let us know here…
The best comments may get a prize!!!