Bergen County, NJ passed a resolution on July 28, 2015 declaring the town of Englewood a stigma free community! The stigma free task force held their 3rd annual town hall meeting at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center. The stigma free initiative is a collaborative campaign happening amongst different counties across NJ. The goal is to raise awareness of mental illness and substance use in order to create a culture wherein residents feel supported by their community without the fear of stigma. According to the stigma free task force, 'Stigma occurs when an individual is negatively labeled by their illness and experience judgment and prejudice'.
Some statistics provided at the event:
- Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the US experiences mental illness in a given year
- 1 in 17 adults live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder
- 16.5% of youth 18 years and younger will have a mental health disorder in a given year
- More than 50% do not seek treatment
According the to Mayo Clinic Staff, here are some steps to cope with stigma:
- Get treatment
- Don't let stigma create self-doubt and shame
- Don't isolate yourself
- Don't equate yourself with your illness
- Join a support group
- Get help at school
- Speak out against stigma
Dr. Anne Marie Albano, PhD, ABPP was a keynote speaker, who spoke on Anxiety Solutions for Families. With a primary focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, she gave research based therapuetic techniques for children and their families who are living with anxiety.
Modern Therapy was happy to take the pledge along with 13,529 other mental health supporters to be stigma free and you can too (link here!).
"As a supporter to those who have a mental illness or substance use disorder, I understand the importance of recognizing the high prevalence of mental illness and substance use disorders. I also know that when recognition is coupled with reeducation and understanding, health-seeking action can be taken. These actions lead to recovery, which is possible for everyone.
The Three R’s (recognize, reeducate and reduce) depend on each other to effectively Stamp Out Stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders. This is what I, as an individual, charge myself to do—to fully Stamp Out Stigma and clear the path to health-seeking behavior. It begins with me."