Five Simple Ways to Reduce Stigma

JanĀ  26 2015

For Bell Let's Talk Day, Bell created five simple ways to reduce stigma around mental health. SSO has information and resources on our website to assist people looking to support individuals living with mental illness. The tips below will help people in everyday life try to reduce stigma and become more understanding.
  1. Language matters – Words have the power to heal and the power to hurt.  To reduce stigma, make sure the words you use are not hurtful and do not reinforce negative stereotypes. Read SSO’s section on the impact of everyday language.
  2. Educate yourself – There are many myths about schizophrenia and mental illness that contribute to stigma. Learn the facts and be knowledgeable. SSO’s Strengthening Families Together program is a four week long education course for family members of individuals living with schizophrenia and psychosis. Knowledge is power. 
  3. Be kind – Individuals living with schizophrenia have real feelings and struggles. A small act of kindness can go a long way. Volunteers are the heart of SSO. Dedicated volunteers in Sudbury help to raise funds and support members of their community. Read about their amazing work.
  4. Listen and Ask – If someone tells you that they are struggling with mental illness, don’t judge. Listen and ask questions to better understand what they’re going through.. A great way to understand mental illness is to hear the stories of those who experience it. SSO’s speaker’s bureau offers opportunities for the community to learn from the experiences of others. From people living with mental illness to family members, SSO has a range of speakers available across the Province. Read about our speakers.
  5. Talk about it – Whether you are dealing with mental illness or have a friend or family member who is affected, it’s important to reach out and get support or start a dialogue. Contact SSO’s Ask the Expert line to get information on resources in your area, to speak to a counsellor or just have someone to talk to.