This month, O2 Living, has partnered with the JCK Foundation to increase awareness around mental health. We'll be sharing blogs featuring about mental health topics and news. This week, we're looking at a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) on mental health stigma.
The study by the APA shows that in the US, mental health stigma may be decreasing. In the online poll of over 1,000 adults, 87% said a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed. 86% of those surveyed stated that they believe people with a mental disorder can get better.
APA's CEO, Arthur Evans Jr., noted that over half of respondents (59%) stated that they knew someone with a mental illness. Personal experience is key in addressing and minimizing stigma. Further, 81% said they would be comfortable being friends with someone who has a mental disorder, and 79% said they would feel at ease interacting with someone experiencing a mental disorder.
This survey shows that we have made progress in reducing stigma around mental disorders, which is promising and encouraging. In an APA release, Evans, Jr. stated, "[the results] indicate a willingness to be more open about mental illness, as well as a strong belief among older respondents that having a mental disorder is nothing to be ashamed of."
Despite this progress, discomfort and fear around mental illness still persists. Particularly, almost half of participants of the survey (49%) said they were uncomfortable dating someone with a mental disorder, and 33% said people with a mental disorder scare them.
The survey also looked into people's opinions about suicide. The majority of those surveyed supported openness about suicide. 87% said they should talk more openly about suicide, and 84% of people said that others should not be ashamed to say a loved one died by suicide. In fact, almost 4 out of 5 respondents agreed that less stigma and shame around mental disorders would lower suicide rates.
At O2 Living, we support open and honest discussion about mental illness and encourage others to share! Education, awareness and openness about mental disorders will decrease shame and stigma. This month, we'll be sharing articles about mental health and our partners, the JCK Foundation. Check our blog each week to learn more and visit https://jckfoundation.org/ to read how the organization is empowering younger generations to authentically address mental health culture in their communities.