As a mental health worker or someone affected by mental health issues, what is one thing you would want to say to educate people about mental health and to lessen the stigma and shame surrounding it?

Mental illness is no different from physical illness, except it’s…..mental. Some people seem to forget that the brain is part of the body, like the heart and kidney. It’s a pretty important part, as it’s one part you really can’t do without.

People have no issue going to a medical doctor when something seems amiss with their body. Why should it be any different with our mental health?

Let’s look at the issue of health in general as well. Humans are not robots, which means they all eventually, at various points in their lives, experience issues with their mental and physical health.

People often like to see things in binary terms, good or bad, healthy or sick, sane and insane, etc. Life doesn’t work like that. It’s far more complex and nuanced. Almost everything exists on a spectrum from not much to a lot, or however you’d like to word it.

The point is, people would not be so quick to stigmatize if they realized there wasn’t any “us” and “them” divide, but just “us”. Sure, you may not be psychotic at the moment, but realize that’s just how things are at the moment. We are all capable of experiencing anxiety, depression and / or psychosis, among many other possible issues, given the right (or wrong) circumstances.

We all deal with life in our own ways, and end up in our own unique circumstances that we must deal with using the resources that we have.

Think about this next time you see someone talking to themselves, or homeless on the street, or disabled. If circumstances were different, that could be you, or something like you. Don’t kid yourself with, “I would never….”. There’s no such thing. You just happen to have gotten lucky this far, and luck has a funny habit of changing.

We are all flawed humans trying to survive as best we can, given the circumstances we are in.


2019-05-24T22:47:16+00:00 May 24th, 2019|