With today being #WorldMentalHealthDay, we wanted to touch upon how we should be talking about mental health. How do we do it in a way that isn’t alienating and unwittingly contribute to the mental health stigma?
As outlined in this Huffington Post article, recent research has uncovered that the way we talk about mental health plays a major role in why those who are in need of support do not speak up.
Just a little over two weeks ago as I walking through uni to get to the class, here are some snippets of what I’ve heard:
“Ugh, why did I do that? Oh my god, I’m such a schizo.”
“I’m going to get depressed if I sit through another mid-sem haha.”
Expressed with such nonchalance and laughter, this usage of this type of language is trivialising and only contributes to the mental health stigma.
Sure, you could brush it off as one being too ‘sensitive.’ They are just words, right?
No, they are not just words. Even though you may mean no harm in them at all, words have meaning whether you like them or not. As discussed in the above article, it only perpetuates negative stereotypes that are discouraging and only halts those who are in need of support.
Will you take a stand the next time you hear this type of language?
Take care and remember your mind matters too,