May: Mental Health Awareness Month: #StigmaFree

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How do you become stigma free?  Just follow these steps.

Educate Yourself and Others

Everyone knows a little about mental health issues but knowing the facts about mental illness can help you educate others and reject stigmatizing stereotypes. They are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Understanding mental health isn’t only about being able to identify symptoms and having a name for these conditions but dispelling many false ideas about mental health conditions as well.

– See more at: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree#whatisstigmafree

See the Person and Not the Illness

1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition and each of them has their own story, path and journey that says more about them than their diagnosis. Whether you live with mental illness or are a friend, family member, caregiver or medical professional getting to know a person and treating them with kindness and empathy means far more than just knowing what they are going through.

– See more at: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree#whatisstigmafree

Take Action on Mental Health Issues

Our mental health care systems have been in crisis for far too long and often keep treatment and recovery out of the hands of many who need it. We can take action now as we push for better legislation and policies to improve lives for everyone. By lending your support you can show that this cause important to you and desperately needed for millions of Americans.

– See more at: https://www.nami.org/stigmafree#whatisstigmafree

I live with a child who suffers with this disease for most of her life.  We still have such a long way to go in understanding, diagnosing, treating and accepting this disease and the other problems that go along with it like addictions and other self harming activities.  We also need to better equip the caregivers and families of those who suffer.  Their daily lives can be just as painful and frustrating at times.  Learning to see the person and not the illness is not always easy.  There are days I really do not like my child.  I will never stop loving her but try hugging a porcupine and see how you feel afterwards.  My goal this coming month is to focus on what I have learned and continue to learn.  I hope something here will help you too!
Peace be with you!
And please be #stigmafree with me!
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