Hard Topics in Home Health Care: Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

painting of human head depicting mental illness

Not a topic to be discussed in most social circles, and with plenty of stigmas attached, mental illness, in one form or another, affects at least tens of millions of Americans today. October is National Mental Health Month, and Heaven at Home Senior Care would like to help break the chains of silence in honor of all those who are struggling with a mental illness. We would also like to encourage them to never give up on seeking treatments that can improve their lives.

Slowly but surely, celebrities and other people within the spotlight are starting to honestly and vulnerably reveal their own battles with such debilitating illnesses as anxiety and depression. However we still have quite a distance to go. Significantly less understood and more negatively perceived illnesses, such as psychosis and schizophrenia, continue to be routinely covered over. In fact, research obtained from the National Institutes of Health demonstrates that a psychosis diagnosis is considered the most highly stigmatized and discriminated against type of mental health issue.

Frighteningly, this worry of stigmatization is generating “a pervasive barrier that prevents many individuals in the U.S. from engaging in mental health care,” according to a 2014 literature review published in the Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services journal.

So, how can we in the home health care industry assist people who have mental health concerns to actually feel safer in discussing their struggles, enabling them to acquire the treatment they need? A number of mental health advocacy organizations are making progress. For instance, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) has created the Stigmafree Pledge that will help promote awareness and acceptance. And, the American Psychological Association (APA) has published an academic journal, Stigma and Health.

For more help with mental health issues and to learn how home health care can really help, contact Heaven at Home Senior Care.