Breaking the Stigma of Mental Health Issues

Mental health is an essential component of a person’s overall wellness, yet it’s often overlooked. Family members may not understand the patient’s needs and even the patient may try to ignore the problem or otherwise fail to seek help at a community hospital. A major reason for this is the social stigma of mental health issues. Here at Good Samaritan Hospital of San Jose, our hospital staff encourages our neighbors to become better informed of mental health issues to break the social stigma surrounding them.

Understanding the Scope of the Problem

The stigmatization of mental health issues can play a role in whether or not a patient will get the treatment he or she needs. A person who faces severe social stigma may blame him- or herself for the mental health issue. Some common stereotypes about mental health disorders are that they are caused by personal weaknesses, poor character, lack of willpower, or inadequate upbringing. Some people even assume that those who have mental health disorders will become violent-a stereotype perhaps fueled in part by mass shootings in the U.S.

Identifying the Problematic Results

As a result of the social stigma of mental health issues, many people with these problems live in fear, shame, and isolation. They may feel hopeless about their situation and they may blame themselves. People with mental health issues are commonly misunderstood by family members, friends, and co-workers. They may have problems holding a job and participating in daily activities. People with mental health issues have even faced misdiagnosed physical health problems and discriminatory practices in the insurance sector.

Learning About Mental Health

Breaking the stigma of mental health issues is crucial for society in general and patients in particular. By becoming better informed of the issues, family members and friends can support patients and encourage them to seek the care they need at community hospitals.

Good Samaritan Hospital is a leading provider of behavioral healthcare for families throughout the greater San Jose area. In addition to inpatient and outpatient behavioral health programs, our community hospital offers compassionate cardiac care and maternity care. Call our Consult-A-Nurse line at (888) 724-2362.

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