Stigma, discrimination and awareness can seriously affect the health, welfare and quality of life of people with mental health problems.
Stigma and discrimination:
- Isolate people
- Exclude people from day-to-day activities
- Stop people getting and keeping jobs
- Prevent people seeking help
- Have a negative impact on physical health
- Delay treatment and impair recovery
The ignorance, fear, misunderstanding and prejudice that surround mental illness deepen the severity of the illness as individuals withdraw further from the world around them. These are a result of a combination of negative stereotypes (often from the media in some form: either movies or news reports) and a lack of new, more positive and sympathetic view points to replace these schemas.
The effect of stigmatisation of Seedi
The thing is that often people with mental illness can appear to behave strangely (their reality has been altered by their illness after all), but so do many people. Just because it is difficult to relate to someone at the beginning, doesn't mean that you should give up... in fact it possibly means that you should try harder to overcome the gap that you think lies between you: chances are you are more similar than you think!
Myths and facts about mental illness
Through raising awareness of mental illness and the real facts that surround it, The Banyan hopes to reduce levels of these factors in order to sensitise communities enough to allow people with mental illness to live harmonious lives of dignity and respect.
There is still some way to go with this but with your help we can make a difference to so many lives.
What can you do?
- Make the time to understand more about mental illness - perhaps visit The Banyan if you are able or try to read a little more about the illnesses.
- If you find out that someone close to you has a mental illness, then do not run away from them - try and treat them as you did before you knew as much as possible.
- Do not discriminate against people with mental illness, either within your peer group or employment situations. Often those with mental illness have as much to give as anyone else and deserve a chance.