Advocacy & Support
Being diagnosed with a mental illness can be a life-changing event for the one diagnosed, as well as friends and family. Beyond coping with symptoms and how they may impact quality of life, stigma can needlessly complicate one’s treatment, recovery, and ability to contribute to society. For family members, friends, and those living with mental illness, these resources provide useful information about:
- Advocacy efforts to reduce stigma,
- Education around mental illness and how stigma impacts lives, and
- Social support around issues of mental health and stigma.
- Learn More about the “Pick up The Phone” Tour, Suicide Prevention
The International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression announces its new project “Rebranding Depression” aimed at reducing the stigma of depression. Eighty percent of depression is treatable yet less than 25 percent of those affected are receiving treatment due to the stigma of depression and lack of funding. The campaign for depression includes using the color yellow to symbolize depression, the sunflower as the symbol inspiring joy and happiness, and the month of April to be celebrated as the Global Month of Hope for depression. To find out more information on the 2010 “Pick Up the Phone”
Tour and the campaign, visit here.
Link to Carter Center Report on 'A Meeting of International Mental Illness Stigma Discrimination Leaders' http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/OpeningMinds/IntlStigmaLeadersReport_June09.pdf
- Schizophrenia.com is a resource site with a wealth of information of psychiatric illness and treatment, as well as multiple links to opinionated and insightful blogs and webpages of people with schizophrenia.
- Clubhouses are consumer-run organizations that aim to provide support, encouragement, and a stigma free environment for people with mental illness, who participate as members (not patients). Various services are provided, but members and staff work side by side without the traditional hierarchy of provider and patient. While not focused on psychiatric or symptomatic outcomes as such, clubhouse programs are typically supportive of care-seeking by interested members and not explicitly opposed to participation in traditional mental health services. Clubhouses now exist around the world, and a certification system now exists, administered by the International Center for Clubhouse Development.
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration)'sResource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health (ADS Center)
"Countering stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness by:
Gathering information and research Providing technical assistance and support"
- The consumer/survivor movement is an organization of people who have received psychiatric treatment, yet feel to varying degrees that the psychatric care system cannot be relied upon to meet some of their most basic needs. Radical sectors of the movement reject psychiatric doctrine and concepts of illness, claiming that psychiatry sacrifices the welfare of those it claims to serve to its own professional and economic interests, and serves as an instrument of control intended to regulate deviance an create dependence. More moderate elements stress instead that quite apart from truth or falsity of psychiatric doctrines, individuals who come into contact with the care system must take active control of their destiny, not surrendering their autonomy to professionals.
- The anti-psychiatry reading room:
- Links between the antipsychiatry movement and the modern consumer movement are discussed in http://www.psychservices.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/reprint/57/6/863
Also sponsored by SAMSHA. "This site is here for people living with mental illness—and their friends. You'll find tools to help in the recovery process, and you can also learn about the different kinds of mental illnesses, read real-life stories about support and recovery, and interact with the video to see how friends can make all the difference."
- Mental Health Ministries: To Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness
Resources for people and care workers in faith-based communities struggling with mental illness.
- The Carter Center
Rosalyn Carter and the Carter Center are particularly involved with supporting journalism that combats stigma, but there are some other resources on their site as well.
- Information on employment and education accommodations for individuals with mental illness, from the Boston University Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation:
- NAMI Pennsylvania:
Mayo Clinic article on overcoming stigma
- In November of 2004, Acting Governor Cody signed an executive order which, among other outcomes, created the Governor's Council on Mental Health Stigma, which now exercise statewide leadership in efforts to combat stigma: http://www.state.nj.us/mhstigmacouncil/index.shtml
- Active Minds www.activeminds.org is the nation's only grassroots organization dedicated to raising mental health awareness among young adults, as they transition from adolescence to adulthood. The organization has become the young adult voice in mental health advocacy on campuses nationwide.
- National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression http://www.narsad.org/
- National Mental Health Information Center
A government sponsored website with information, education and advocacy regarding mental illness.
- A Guide for People with Disabilities Seeking Employment http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/workta.htm
- An Online Friendship Network for Individuals Suffering from Mental Illness http://www.friendshipnetwork.org/
- Mental Health Association in New Jersey http://www.mhanj.org/
Provides information for consumers of mental health services regarding how they can become providers of mental health services. The site also provides support and advocacy information.
- New Jersey Self Help Group Clearinghouse http://www.medhelp.org/njgroups/index.htm#hometop Provides information on self-help groups in the state of New Jersey, as well as information about how individuals can start their own self-help groups. The website does not rate or endorse any particular group.
- Mental Health Association in New Jersey, Inc. http://www.mhanj.org/gov_affairs_2006/Partial%20Care%20Policy%20Statement%20Framework2006.pdf
Policy Statement: “A new vision for mental health services based on Wellness and Recovery”
- State of New Jersey Executive Order #78. Acting Governor Richard J. Codey
- Recovery from Mental Illness http://akmhcweb.org/recovery/rec.htm#Articles
Stories, Articles, and Activities
- New Jersey state chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):
- Time to Change, a United Kingdom program, fights mental health stigma and discrimination through education, political and legal advocacy, support for individuals with mental health problems, and community projects.
- “No Kidding? Me Too!” is a foundation established by actor Joe Pantoliano with the goal of mobilizing the creative community to address the stigma of mental illness. http://nkm2.org/
- MindFreedom is an international activist/advocacy organization that has adopted a human rights perspectives in denouncing abuses of psychiatry, and advocates for alternative systems of promoting the welfare of people who encounter the psychiatric system.
- The Mental Illness Education Project
This organization produce and distribute video-based educational programs and related materials designed to combat stigma through education.
- World Fellowship for Schizophrenia and Allied Disorders
Includes pages with education on stigma and how to fight it for all serious mental illness, not just schizophrenia.
- The mental health division of the American Public Health Association:
The NARSAD is a group that raises money for research on mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia.
- The American Psychological Association has no specific division concerned with stigma but relevant material can be found on webpages of:
- The Society for the Psychological Studies of Social Issues:
- Psychologists in Public Services:
- The Society for Community Research and Action:
- Society of Clinical Psychology:
- The Society for the Psychological Studies of Social Issues: