Friday, 20 June 2014

Self Harm

Self-harm is a coping strategy for many teenagers; statistics suggest that as many as 1-15 children are harming themselves in this way. The habit becomes a way of coping with difficult feelings, becoming a cycle hard to break. For many teenagers it is done privately, a hidden secret that they keep covered up. Some teenagers think they are the only ones in the world to behave this way and they feel alone. This is why we must talk about self-injury and stop it feeling like a big secret. We need to help our vulnerable teenagers find other coping strategies. This isn't an easy journey as self-injuring is an addictive behaviour, but with time and patience it can be done.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The Stigma of Mental Health Problems

It is important to discuss the concept of Stigma, as this has a huge impact on how mental health is viewed. Public perception is frequently negative with regards to mental health and this has an impact on use of services. Stigma tends to view people with poor mental health as problem.
Stigma is commonly defined as “a mark of disgrace or shame” and yet is a reality for people with a mental health problem. It often has four components:

1. Labelling someone with a condition.
2. Stereotyping them
3. Creating a division – a superior us and a devalued them
4. Discrimination on the basis of their ‘label’

Most people would not dream of mocking someone with cancer, yet mental health disorders and conditions still remain fair game for ridicule and distorted beliefs.
We must work together to eradicate this stigma and show love and compassion to those affected by this illness.

Have you experienced mental health stigma? If so I'd love to hear from you.