What You Can Do
Top 10 Things You Can Do To Reduce Stigma
- Watch how words are used. Words like crazy, nuts, wacko, schizo— all promote stigma or can be offensive to individuals who have a mental illness.
- Use people first language. For example; a person with a mental illness instead of mentally ill people.
- Become educated on mental illnesses. Look up mental illness, and specific conditions and find out more about the people who have these illnesses.
- Confront jokes about mental illness. Refuse to listen.
- Do tell someone if they express a stigmatizing attitude. People are often unaware of the facts about mental illness and it is important to let others know when they are presenting a stigmatizing attitude.
- Recognize the common signs of mental distress or illness in yourself and in your friends so you can find help if you need to.
- If you’re a student, get involved in Active Minds.
- If you’re student, staff, or faculty, get involved in help a student or friend connect to mental health resources on campus at www.mentalhealth.umn.edu Faculty, consider including the Mental Health and Stress Management Syllabus Statement.
- Do emphasize abilities, not limitations. A mental illness is like other chronic health conditions. It is a part of an individual, it does not define them.
- If you have mental health concerns, seek help! Use the resources available at University of Minnesota.