Do want to combat stigma?
May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
You know, shunning someone due to mental illness seems ludicrous in our day of promising treatments and campaigns. Stigma compromises the lives of individuals with mental illnesses. Because of stigma, these individuals may face lack of acceptance, job and housing discrimination, and even verbal and physical abuse. The verbal abuse including but not limited to ignorant people using words like "retarded" in a casual way to describe a situation or person, such as "that's so retarded!" (which happens to be one of my biggest annoyances. UGGH!) While language and behavior can reflect negative perceptions about mental illness, stigma is not simply about using the wrong word or action, at it's core, stigma is an issue of DISRESPECT.
Help combat stigma by spreading the message of awareness and acceptance of persons with mental illness. While I think it's extremely important to have "awareness months" for diseases, disorders, etc... Using your voice all year round is really the most important. So... start with yourself, reach out to others, don't equate individuals with their illness, and work for change!