I’ve been reading summaries of research on stigma-busting that lay it on the line. Publishing facts about mental illness, as for example, how treatment helps people live successfully, does not assist in alleviating stigma. Highlighting the stories of people with mental illness who have achieved significant accomplishment, does not curb stigma either. What does work is for ordinary people to get to know ordinary people with mental illness personally! For stigma-busting and awareness and acceptance of mental illness to happen, individuals with mental illness need to be able to safely self-disclose or identify that they have received mental health treatment. Both peoples need to get acquainted and know each other. Nothing breaks down barriers like good communication. Acceptance and trust can be built up by direct experience of the other. But someone has to take the first step. Will it be you? Should it be?
I want to talk about the role of self-disclosure in advocating for people with mental illness. I am hoping to reach out to you especially if you have a mental illness yourself or are related to someone who lives with mental illness. [Continue reading the article under Real Life; Real Challenges]