Overcome Stigma

ZS Archives | Overcome Stigma

In order to minimize stigma in Society, steps should be taken. Here are some ways you can deal with stigma:

Get treatment

You may be reluctant to admit you need treatment. Don’t let the fear of being labelled with a mental health condition prevent you from seeking help. Treatment can provide relief by identifying what’s wrong and reducing symptoms that interfere with your work and personal life.

Don’t let stigma create self-doubt and shame

Stigma doesn’t just come from others. You may mistakenly believe that your condition is a sign of personal weakness or that you should be able to control it without help. Seeking counselling, educating yourself about your condition and connecting with others who manage mental health disorders can help you gain self-esteem and overcome destructive self-judgment.

Don’t isolate yourself

If you have a mental health conditions, you may be reluctant to tell anyone about it. Your family, friends, clergy or members of your community can offer you support if they know about your mental health conditions. Reach out to people you trust for the compassion, support and understanding you need.

Don’t equate yourself with your illness

You are not your condition. So instead of saying “I’m bipolar,” say “I have bipolar disorder.” Instead of calling yourself “Depressive”, say “I have depression.”

Join a support group

Some local and national groups offer local programs and internet resources that help reduce stigma by educating people who have mental health conditions, their families and the general public.

Get help at school

If you or your child have a mental health condition that affects learning, find out what plans and programs might help. Discrimination against students because of a mental health condition is against the law, and educators at primary, secondary and college levels are required to accommodate students as best they can. Talk to teachers, professors or administrators about the best approach and resources. If a teacher doesn’t know about a student’s disability, it can lead to discrimination, barriers to learning and poor grades.

Speak out against stigma

Consider expressing your opinions at events, in letters to editors or on the internet. It can help instil courage in others facing similar challenges and educate the public about mental health conditions.

Apr 7, 2020

The stigmatization of mental health

Mental health in South Africa holds many challenges. On one hand, people struggling with these illnesses struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the […]