We’ve been hearing about the mental health stigma a fair amount recently, but it still doesn’t seem like it’s enough. People continue to view mental health issues as rare and irregular occurrences in the human population–while in reality, they’re actually quite common.
You may think the mental health stigma is dying, but a recent survey revealed that it’s still very much alive.
Survey shines light on mental health stigma
In a national survey conducted by Michigan State University, researchers discovered shocking beliefs about mental health. Among the findings, less than half of Americans can recognize anxiety, the majority of people don’t know how to handle depression even if they do recognize it, and about 80 percent of people don’t believe prescription drug abuse can be treated.
Those are absolutely ridiculous results–and they show the mental health stigma is still very much alive in the United States. The survey included about 4,600 individuals, which is a pretty hefty sample size.
Authors of the study explained their disappointment in the results:
“Although great strides have been made in the area of mental health literacy in recent decades, the discrepancies in mental health knowledge, helping behaviors and stigma show the importance of continue to educate the public about mental health issues.”
This study just confirms the need for us to continue to try and destigmatize mental health issues.
Why destigmatizing mental health is important
Many individuals live their whole lives without ever receiving treatment because they either don’t recognize the issue as treatable or they’re afraid of being labeled a “freak” in the eyes of society. One report found that only 35 percent of children with mental health issues get the help they need.
In the same report, it was found that 80 percent of children with anxiety disorders and 60 percent of children with depression aren’t getting treatment. Those are really insane and large numbers of children that will have a harder time thriving as adults.
By destigmatizing mental health, people will be more willing to seek treatment. People are scared to be perceived as “crazy” or “unstable” because of the way society looks at mental illness. Gradually, we are getting more and more educated about mental illness and the importance of getting treatment, but we still have a long way to go before the stigma will disappear completely.
Solstice East is here for your family
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. We understand the specific needs of troubled girls, which is why our program is centered solely on them. Our girls often grapple with depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us.
We strive to help students develop healthy habits and lead themselves back onto a path of success and happiness through meaningful therapy and a nurturing environment.
For more information about how we help dismantle the mental health stigma at Solstice East, please contact us at 828-484-9946.