STIGMA and Mental Health Problems

I found these statistics disheartening, but again, I find hope that people (even our government!) want to do something to change it! What can you do to facilitate change?

Campaign For Mental Health Recovery Campaign Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Volunteer Advertising Agency: Grey Worldwide

CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVE:

Encourage, educate and inspire 18-25 year olds to step up and support friends they know are experiencing a mental health problem.

BACKGROUND:

Mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.) are widespread and often misunderstood. According to SAMHSA in 2005 there were an estimated 24.6 million adults aged 18 or older who experienced serious psychological distress (SPD), which is highly correlated with serious mental illness. Among 18-25 year olds, the prevalence of SPD is high (18.6 % for 18-25, vs. 11.3% for all adults 18+) yet this age group shows the lowest rate of help-seeking behaviors. Additionally, those with mental health conditions in this segment have a high potential to minimize future disability and pursue recovery if social acceptance is broadened and they receive the right support and services early on.

Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

CAMPAIGN DESCRIPTION:

The opportunity for recovery is more likely in a society of acceptance, and this campaign looks to men and woman 18-25 years old to serve as the mental health vanguard, motivating a societal change towards social acceptance and decreasing the negative attitudes that surround mental illness. The PSA campaign is designed to encourage this group to step up and support their friends who are living with a mental illness by demonstrating the roles they can play in their friend’s recovery.

The campaign includes television, radio, outdoor, print, and interactive elements. Viewers and listeners are encouraged to continue to support their friends who are living with a mental illness and visit the campaign website to learn more about mental health and what they can do to support their friend’s recovery.

TARGET AUDIENCE:

18-25 year old friends of people living with a mental illness.

RESEARCH:

• Only about one-quarter of young adults between the ages of 18-24 believe that a person with mental illness can eventually recover.

• Only 42 percent of Americans believe that a person with mental illness can be as successful at work as others.

• Only a little more than one-half (54%) of young adults who know someone with a mental illness believe that treatment can help people with mental illnesses lead normal lives.

• Despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that people with mental illnesses are not to blame for their conditions (85%), only about one in four (26%) agree that people are generally caring and sympathetic toward individuals with mental illnesses.

HealthStyles Survey 2006 (Porter Novelli)

Learn more about fighting stigma at www.nami.org

We have to support and educate our young people and eliminate stigma…they need to feel they have options other than being self-destructive!

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