It’s a powerful belief, isn’t it?
That one person can shift the perspective of an entire world on mental health.
Archimedes, the Greek mathematician who died in 212 BC, said give me a long enough lever (and a fulcrum on which to place it) and I’ll move the world.
When it comes to mental health and the stigmas that have been attached to it, we are all levers. We carry within us the power to shift our own thinking, and consequently that of the world, around what mental health is and what it means for those who need support.
I’ve written before about the very real consequences to allowing stigma to continue, especially in the shaming and silencing of people who have a mental health condition.
Perhaps the most damaging impact from mental health stigma is on an individual’s decision to seek or not seek treatment and help after experiencing symptoms of mental illness.
Because of stigma, the average delay between the start of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Now, imagine a world where shame keeps those with heart disease or cancer from making an appointment with their physician for more than a decade after they begin having symptoms. We would never let that be.
So why is it accepted for those with mental illnesses?
Become a lever and help move the world.
NAMI has two important steps you can take to identify your own possible biases and declare your positive intent to be stigma-free.