Mental illness knows no barriers of age, race or gender. In fact, one in four adult San Diegans are affected by mental illness. Now's your chance to stand up and become an advocate; it's up to us, San Diego.
You have the ability to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Even the smallest change in behavior will add up, as we collectively stand united to change perceptions. It takes just one person to make a difference, and the difference could begin with you.
Studies show that opportunities are not as plentiful for those facing mental health challenges due to the stigma associated with mental illness. We all have the ability to ensure equal opportunities are available and accessible. The following are easy ways to do your part to contribute to the cause:
- Treat people with mental illness with respect and dignity, just as you would anyone else.
- When you hear someone misstate the facts -- respectfully speak out and correct them.
- Be mindful of your language. Never refer to someone with mental illness as "crazy" or "loony."
- Don't allow mental illness to define a person; say "someone experiencing schizophrenia" rather than "a schizophrenic."
- Raise awareness about discriminatory or stigmatizing language in the media by sending a letter or email.
- Get involved, speak up and help inspire others to follow suit.
Join one of the many San Diego organizations and take part in the activities they offer to fight discrimination.