6 ways students can cope with the stigma around mental health

Sadly, there is a stigma around mental health issues which leads to negative attitudes and beliefs towards people with mental health disorders. It might be characterized indirectly if someone avoids you because they think you are dangerous or makes a negative remark about you because of your condition. This can be an absolute nightmare for those who face these issues and can lead to tragedies if they lack the right coping mechanisms. 

#1 Get help

For fear of being stigmatized, it is common for people to act as if everything is well with them - when in reality it’s not. By getting help early, symptoms of mental health disorders are identified and mitigated in order to get the relief you deserve.

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#2 Talk about it openly

Honestly, I feel we are making progress when it comes to breaking the stigma around mental health which is why now more than ever, we can be able to talk openly about it with people we feel comfortable with. Moreover, public figures like Naomi Osaka opening up about mental health issues should be a morale booster.

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#3 Don’t describe yourself as the illness

This is pretty common; i’ve heard a few friends say that. By saying, “I am” followed by the illness, you are making yourself synonymous with the illness. No one was born an “anxious being”, “schizophrenic being”, or “depressed being”. As a matter of fact, these illnesses are induced by environmental factors most of the time.

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#4 Join a support group

Support groups are meant to create a sense of community by bringing people facing the same issues together in order to get various kinds of help as well as coping strategies. This gives members facing these issues more empowerment. Support groups include the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and others you can check here.

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#5 Educate others

Most of the time, people’s judgments stem from a lack of information based on facts. By educating a friend or family member, you are doing your part towards breaking the stigma around mental health.

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#6 Utilize resources on campus

Don’t feel like a weak person when you realize you have to get help while on campus. The only reason why mental health resources exist on campuses is because mental health issues are of prime importance. Not seeking help to address mental health issues can derail one’s academic progress. Discriminating against students because of their mental health issues goes against the law.

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6 signs it’s time to address your mental health issues

Quiz: Are you worrying a lot about what others think?