General News — 01 May 2015

woman-431658smallHalf of all people will experience a mental health issue in their lifetime, research shows. Yet, stigma is still a very real — and deep — problem, even affecting how people with mental conditions think about themselves and seek out care. It’s time to change that, say celebrities in a new PSA out today. The PSA, developed by Each Mind Matters: California’s Mental Health Movement in collaboration with philosophy’s hope & grace initiative, aims to eliminate the stereotypes we often associate with mental conditions by promoting acceptance and awareness. “Get help if you need it, don’t be ashamed, and don’t feel alone,” Pamela Anderson, one of the celebs lending her name and face to the PSA, tells Yahoo Health. 

What we know about mental health stigma: 

  • A little more than half (57 percent) of respondents to a 2007 survey of adults in the U.S. think that people are caring and sympathetic to people with mental illness.
  • In the same survey, just one-quarter of people with mental health symptoms think that other people are caring/sympathetic to those with mental illness.
  • Even though one in five people in the U.S. has a mental disorder, almost two-thirds of people with a mental disorder won’t seek treatment.
  • A 2014 study showed that stigma is the top reason people with mental illness choose not to seek care.

“We Are The Movement For Mental Health” PSA, includes Anderson, as well as Shanola Hampton of Shameless, Grace Gealey of Empire, and Lorraine Bracco from The Sopranos. And to get involved in the movement, check out the #iamstigmafree and #millionslikeme hashtags.

This article first appeared Yahoo Health, 30 April 2015.

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