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Challenging the Stigma of Mental Health

Updated: May 17, 2023

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year's theme is "More than enough."

A message from the National Alliance on Mental Illness:

"This is an opportunity for all of us to come together and remember the inherent value we each hold — no matter our diagnosis, appearance, socioeconomic status, background or ability. If all you did was wake up today, that’s more than enough. No matter what, you are inherently worthy of more than enough life, love and healing. Showing up, just as you are, for yourself and the people around you, is more than enough."

We have been busy at S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc. over the last few months, and with the message behind this year's Mental Health Awareness Month, there couldn't be a better time to share everything that we have been working on.

Our Executive Director, David Bayne, and myself, Carrie Woodcock, have just kicked off our second season of the Beyond the Box Podcast with our first episode. The mission of the our podcast is to open a dialogue for conversations that need to be had, while challenging stigma and social norms.

We will be starting Season Two with a discussion about a topic that has unfortunately touched many of our lives - suicide. Watch for our next episode that drops next week in which Dave and I interviewed Jimmy Lawton, news editor of North Country This Week and . In Jimmy's recent column: We can't stay silent on suicide: Why we report on taboo topics , he shared some shocking statistics from the North Country. Dave and I discussed some of the issues Jimmy raises in more depth. Subscribe to the Beyond the Box Podcast to listen to our interview next week. You can find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, our website, or wherever you get your podcasts.

There is no question that there is often stigma associated with Mental Health Disorders, which can in turn prevent people from having the best shot at effective treatment. Mental Health stigmas can result in an individual's inability or reluctance to seek help. Individuals might feel embarrassment or fear about needing assistance, which can result in isolation and shame.

Encouraging open conversations is one of the best ways to begin to break down these stigmas that exist.

More than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness. Over 1 in 5 youth (ages 13-18) either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness. About 1 in 25 U.S. adults lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.

This means that either you or someone you know has been impacted. Choose to color outside the lines, view the world from a different perspective, and join us as we open a dialogue for the conversations that need to be had in an effort to break down the stigma associated with Mental Health Disorders.

Carrie Woodcock

Director of Wellness and Recovery Services

S.T.E.P. by S.T.E.P., Inc.

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