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“I’ve struggled a long time with depression and anxiety. The other day I confided in a colleague that I had these challenges, because I had a bad spell and missed a few days of work. He told me that he understands and cares the same ways for me as he would for people with other ailments—kidney or heart disease, diabetes.  It makes such a difference to know that people understand—that they won’t avoid me, talk behind my back, or deride me because of my mental illness.”

Roger, age 31

We’ve come a long way since “insane asylums” and the like, but unfortunately, mental illness is still heavily misunderstood and stigmatized in the United States and across the world. Prime-time media is loaded with stereotyping and stigmatizing of people struggling for mental wellness; for example, violent criminals in TV and movies are very often characterized as “mentally ill”, “crazy,” “psycho”… 

At Compeer Rochester, work to shatter this stigma accompanies all we do, because stigma heightens the isolation and other hurdles faced by those with mental illness. When people interact with those dealing with mental illness with understanding, compassion, and support—and not with fear and derision—it goes a long, long way to helping and healing.

We need your help and your work to build understanding and support of our fellow humans who are suffering.

Learn more about mental illness and wellness at our Mental Health Resources page, and check out the links below, our favorite resources dedicated to busting the persistent stigma of mental illness. 

Mayo Clinic’s page, Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness

WebMD’s page, Coping with the Stigma of Mental Illness

Chicago Health Online’s article, Shattering the Stigma of Depression

Time to Change