We Need to Get Better at Talking About Mental Illness

How to Shame the Stigma Around Mental Illness

Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all – Bill Clinton

We live in a busy and chaotic world where it can be difficult for us to find inspiration or direction.

Thanks to social media outlets and mainstream media, we are constantly bombarded and marginalized by messages touting perfection. It seems that our best is not “good enough.” And nowhere is this “imperfection shaming” phenomenon more visible than when discussing the topic of mental illness.

The rates of certain mental illnesses, such as depression, are on the rise. Doctors continue to prescribe psychotropic medications while failing to educate and normalize the plight of individuals in our increasingly disconnected society.

Here at Talkspace, I am proud to be part of an innovative group of therapists who wholeheartedly believe in the emerging “stigma-free” mental health movement. We work tirelessly filling the gap in our healthcare system,

A quick scan through the newspapers and tabloids reveals a laundry list of celebrities who were unable to manage society’s increasing pressures, resulting in them taking their own lives — Robin Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, L’Wren Scott and Gia Allemand, to name a few.

Still, the conversation about how to address mental illness issues falls by the wayside. Though we’ve come a long way during the last century, individuals afflicted with mental illness are still stigmatized — even villainized — for being sick.

As both a mental health provider and someone who has personally struggled with depression, I can attest to the need for our society and thought leaders in our profession to spearhead the discussion around countering the shame and stigma associated with mental illness.

This step is critical in helping people feel safe enough to seek the help they need.

Here at Talkspace, I am proud to be part of an innovative group of therapists who wholeheartedly believe in the emerging “stigma-free” mental health movement. We work tirelessly filling the gap in our health care system, while modernizing the method by which it is done.

Our approach? Treating every one of our clients with kindness, compassion and acceptance, in an attempt to free them from all of the negative preconceived notions associated with mental health treatment.

We hope to reach at least one more person so desperately in need of support so desperately in need of a stigma free zone to heal. We want to help them reevaluate their lives or simply improve their relationships.

Our goal is simple:

In the words of Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

We’re looking for passionate individuals to join our movement, comprised of dedicated individuals that are committed to exchanging ideas about mental health while simultaneously eliminating barriers to treatment.

So, we invite you – the reader – to engage, contribute, and assist us on this journey, as we seek to change the world – one person at a time.

The problem with the stigma around mental health is really about the stories that we tell ourselves as a society. What is normal? That’s just a story that we tell ourselves. – Matthew Quick

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