When it comes to physical injuries, we immediately rush ourselves to the nearest hospital, simply because we feel the physical pain and realise the need to be treated. But do we treat our mental health with the same care and urgency?
Many tend to delay or avoid receiving treatment for their mental illness due to the prevalent prejudice and discrimination against individuals with mental illness. It has been estimated that only 20% of Malaysians with a mental illness seek professional help, mainly due to the social stigma that surrounds it. This paints a worrying picture considering that the Ministry of Health reported that a third of Malaysians experience issues with their mental health.
Stigma against people with mental illness can exacerbate their problems, thus making recovery more difficult. Therefore, standing up to any false preconceptions regarding mental health is vital in providing a voice to those who have been suffering in silence and normalising professional help for mental illnesses.
Here are some steps you can take to help end the stigma against mental illness.
The stigma surrounding mental illness can be a huge obstacle to people accessing much-needed help. They are more than just snide notions or remarks. Such prejudice has demonstrable adverse effects on individuals with mental illnesses. Therefore, we should strive to be an ally in the fight against stigma rather than contributing to the problem.
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