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Service Journalism — How to face and overcome mental health stigma

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     Nowadays, the number of people who are suffering from mental illness cannot just be counted with the number of your fingers; both of your hands will not be enough to count them. As well as the rising percentage of the mental stigma that they face. The blame and the discrimination that the people who suffer from mental illness and the stigma get for suffering from something that they can’t control even if they don’t deserve it.


     So right now, what I want you to think about is this.


     Facing and trying to fight mental health sigma is hard. But having to encounter it everyday non-stop when you, yourself are suffering and you’ve got nothing to do about it is harder.


     With the help of our interventive counselor, Carmen Sosa, we came up with a few ways that an individual could do to face and overcome the stigma.


  • Do not feel bad about yourself, This is just one aspect of you and it does not define who you are.

     Everything starts with you. The need for you to be willing to help yourself first should be present followed by your trials and attempts in overcoming the way you criticize yourself. None of it will be easy but they will all be worth it.  You will learn how to be self accepting and how to be gentle with yourself. You will learn how to love yourself for who you are right now and not for what you wish you were. We are all humans and none of us is perfect, we all make mistakes, and we learn from them.


  • Reach out to people you trust to get support and for advice, Do not isolate yourself because you feel shame.

     Something that is important for you to be aware of is that you should know when you need to ask for help. When things get difficult and too much for you to handle, the best way is for you to seek opinion and advices from a trusted adult like your parents, other relatives, or the school counselor. They are there for you to ask help from, you could trust them.


  • Get treatment for your mental illness

     When things get out of hand, you should not be afraid to see a therapist for professional help. They might be the best option for you to deal with your problems. They might be able to give you the proper medication you need and teach you the habits that you need to learn and do in order for you to feel at ease. The key to good mental health is taking good care of yourself.


  • Join a support group

     By joining support groups, you could meet people who understand you. You could help each other to overcome your struggles and hardships and with the people in your support group, you might be able to unload all of your thoughts and emotions. Then, together, you will start to understand that it is inevitable to have challenges thrown in your way. There will always be hindrances in your life but it could lead you to the path showing how strong you really are.


     By doing these things, you might be able to find a way to help yourself as well as the people suffering from mental illnesses and the stigma. You might be able to cut your pain and discomfort even by the smallest percentage as well as theirs, and you would also be of assistance in spreading mental health awareness. The key is to understand how you cope, not feel shame, and not to be so critical of yourself. In time, you would learn not to let the stigma get into you.

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