May is mental health awareness month, so it’s an excellent time to focus on improving mental health and its societal views. The negative stigma around mental health isn’t only a problem. It’s an epidemic. Although more people are willing to seek help due to the struggles of 2020, we still have a long way to go. 

So, what is the negative mental illness stigma? 

Reducing the stigma around mental illness is vital.A stigma marks and discredits someone from being a whole person by labeling them. In the case of someone dealing with mental health concerns, they may be labeled as “crazy,” “psychotic,” “incompetent,” and “untrustworthy.” The negative stigma around mental health also paints those with mental health concerns as being “weak” when they seek help. 

These unfortunate and entirely incorrect and hurtful stereotypes, labels, and ways of thinking prevent many individuals from voicing their struggles and seeking the help they need.

And that’s why we must do our part in reducing the stigma. 

With approximately 50 million U.S. adults experiencing at least one mental illness, keeping quiet about the need for mental health assistance is not an option. Mental illness must not be a taboo subject. And if you’re one of the millions, you don’t want it to be. 

We’re Here For You

Understanding the Negative Impact of the Stigma Around Mental Health

If you struggle with mental illness, recognizing and admitting your need for professional help can be challenging, primarily due to the stigma. But you must fight against that stigma to overcome your challenges and live a more fulfilling life. 

You may resist seeking help if you’ve been made to feel marginalized, weak, ashamed, and embarrassed. Unfortunately, family and cultural beliefs can be part of why you feel this way. Or perhaps you’re worried other people will judge you if you admit you need help, or they’ll view you as incompetent in taking care of yourself or others.

When you internalize these opinions, thoughts, and incorrect judgments, you don’t get the help you need. May is mental health awareness month

But you’re not alone. 

The barriers to seeking treatment to boost your mental health occur more often than you think. In fact, according to a recent study, 55% of adults with mental illness don’t seek treatment.

Don’t be one of them. 

Getting the necessary help you need to reclaim your life enjoyment and overcome your challenges is no sign of weakness. Rather, it’s a sign of strength because you are doing what you must for your mental health. That takes commitment, time, dedication, and sometimes, hard work. 

How to Avoid Giving In to the Stigma

In honor of mental health awareness month, we want to help you overcome the negative stigma around mental health.

Consider the following:

  • Educate yourself and others: Reducing the stigma takes information. Some people don’t understand or have little experience with mental illness, so they may make insensitive comments. To combat the negative stigma around mental health, set the record straight when you hear someone ignorantly say something untrue. Educate yourself on mental illnesses and inform others of truthful information. It can be helpful to fortify your findings with mental health statistics to help others see that mental illness is not a sign of weakness and is actually quite common. 


  • Believe that you are not your illness: If you know someone with diabetes, you don’t say that they are diabetes, right? So why would you say you are bipolar, OCD, or depressed? You are not your mental illness. Reframe your way of thinking. Instead, say, “I have bipolar disorder,” “I have OCD,” or “I battle depression.”


  • Share your story: Of course, you don’t have to share your mental illness experiences with others. But if you’re comfortable doing so, it can have a profound, powerful impact on breaking down the negative stigma. 

Connecting with others is something you can do for reducing the stigma around mental illness.

  • Connect with others: There are plenty of in-person and online support groups out there who partner with you and support you throughout your mental illness journey. Sharing with others what you’re going through and hearing about their struggles and victories can boost your mental health and confidence in recovery. Research shows that connecting with others with a mental health disorder is an excellent way to be part of reducing the stigma. Not only will you benefit from sharing your journey, but you’ll also gain insight into what others experience. And when you’re better informed, you can be a powerful advocate for the many individuals struggling with mental illness but too ashamed to seek help.


  • Don’t avoid getting help: One of the most important things you can do to reduce the negative stigma around mental health is to get the help you need. Internalizing others’ views and inaccurate judgments can make you feel embarrassed and ashamed. But if you let others’ ignorant comments and opinions dictate how you’ll experience your life, you can’t expect recovery and freedom from debilitating mental illness symptoms.

It’s your life, and you deserve to live it to the fullest by trusting in a reputable mental health provider to help you.

Nexus of Hope: Your Partner in Reducing the Stigma and Guiding You Toward Recovery

Mental illness shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of. You wouldn’t shame someone with Crohn’s disease or hypothyroidism, would you? Well, those are diseases people don’t choose to get either. That’s how you need to view mental illness. Not just during mental health awareness month but all throughout the year. 

At Nexus of Hope, we provide high-quality mental health services in Minnesota to help you or someone you love through their mental illness struggles and toward recovery. We are passionate about helping individuals just like you reclaim their lives and live symptom-free. Our team of Certified Nurse Practitioners at Nexus of Hope are PTSD Specialists.

Our team of highly-trained and experienced Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners takes a compassionate, collaborative approach to your mental health care, focusing on reducing symptoms and preventative measures. Whether you’ve struggled with mental illness for years or just now recognizing the warning signs, we’re here for you. 

We offer mental health services in Minnesota at our Lakeville facility or throughout the state via telehealth. 

Don’t give in to the negative stigma around mental health. It’s time to take charge of your wellness and contact our team of professionals, who can guide you to recovery via therapy, medication management, and more. 


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