People with mental illness or substance use disorder often face judgment, lowered expectations, derogatory remarks, isolation, and biased treatment simply because others view them as different.  This stigma has significant consequences: 93% of individuals in Northwest Michigan said that stigma is an obstacle to seeking treatment.

In fact, stigma can create a “why try” effect: why should I try treatment or try to live and work independently if I am not valued.

Stigma is tricky. We may strongly believe that we value people with mental illness and substance use disorder and work hard to not stigmatize them, but sometimes our unconscious biases take over. Since we all live in a society that has portrayed people with mental illness or substance use disorders in a negative way in movies, tv shows, and media reports, it is likely we all have some of these unconscious negative biases.

But here is the good news: Many people in Northwest Michigan want to play a role in making things better. This 21-Day Stigma Challenge was designed to expand this good will. By promoting awareness, understanding and collective action, we can create communities where ALL residents feel included and valued and where all individuals experiencing mental illness or substance use disorders feel supported and encouraged.

Today’s resources were selected to launch our 21 Day Challenge by promoting an understanding of what stigma is, what it looks like, the impact of stigma, and why we need to collectively work against stigma.

We are thrilled to have you join our collective effort to fight stigma!

Record Your Activities for the Day

The challenge is designed to spur change – in mindsets, behaviors, opportunities and practices. Please help us keep track of how individuals are engaging with the 21-Day Stigma Challenge resources and actions. Each action you take, each resource you review, will add a ticket in your name to the drawing for one of five $100 gift cards at the end of the challenge.

Do You Want To Learn More? Check Out These Additional Resources:

Stigma 101

Click through this interactive presentation to learn more about stigma, its impact and what you can do to fight against stigma.

Stigma Interferes with Quality Care

Watch Suzanne’s Video, a mother in northwest Michigan, share her story of how stigma interfered with her child receiving quality care.

What You Can Do to Fight Against Stigma

Watch high-schooler Sarah Mack talk about her own mental health struggles and what needs to be done to reduce stigma. 

Fighting the Stigma Against Mental Illness 

Listen to this podcast by Dr. Patrick Corrigan. Dr. Corrigan  discusses where  stigma comes from, how it affects people’s lives, and why it’s important for those with mental illness to share their stories.

Break the Stigma Around Children’s Mental Health

Watch this two minute video to learn about the impact that stigma has on people with poor mental health and how your actions can make a difference.

Spread The Word!

Community Resources:

Thank you to our sponsors:

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