Reducing Stigma: Be A Part of the Movement

I do believe there is a stigma associated with mental health. I think the stigma exists because individuals are not encouraged enough to talk openly about their personal struggles. There is this pressure that exists to only talk about what is going well in life and to never expose vulnerabilities. 
Why do we do this?
Why are we so private?
Why do we put pressure on ourselves to only let the successes show, even though real life is full of successes and difficulties?
It all starts with our conversations. We need to change our day to day conversations. We need to talk about what isn’t going well and what is going well.
You can help reduce the stigma. You can be a part of the movement. All you have to do is start being vulnerable in your own day to day conversations.
The next time someone asks you how you are doing, tell them what is going well and what isn’t going well. Be vulnerable. Share all of your successes and then share what you are struggling with. Share if you feel nervous presenting in front of others at work. Share if you feel lonely in a new city. Share if you miss someone. Share if you are experiencing financial stress. Share if you are stressed and overwhelmed. Whatever you are struggling with, share it.
Many individuals fear that exposing their vulnerabilities will result in judgment from others. Yes, that could happen. Someone could judge you after you share what you are struggling with. Treat this as an eye-opening experience. You don’t need that kind of person in your life. Let go of that person. You don’t want to surround yourself with people who you can’t have real conversations with. And real conversations include talking about both the difficulties and successes.
Another thing that could happen after exposing your vulnerabilities is that others could support you, help you, validate you, encourage you or even relate to you. After sharing, you could realize that the person you are talking to is struggling with the same thing or has been through it before. Or that individual might have a resource for you! 
Understand and accept that some people will judge you while others will support and accept you. It is about sharing and figuring out who falls into which category. Let these sharing moments guide you to understand who belongs in your life and who doesn’t. And understand and accept that you may end relationships with some individuals, such as with the ones who judge you.
But don’t stop sharing. We need to reduce the stigma and it starts with you talking openly about your struggles.
#speakup #endthestigma #mh4all
Written By: Ms. Palak Vani
MINDS Content Associate

Chief Executive Officer, Curated Goals
instagram: @PalakVani