Why The Existing Mental Health Campaigns Don’t Work

You be the judge – (top vs bottom): Which feels more inclusive? Which makes you feel like you’re part of a larger group?


I may hit on this topic & these ex’s a lot, but I do bc they eat away at me, every time I see them used. As Theo Fleury now drills home whenever we talk: We have the greatest awareness of mental HEALTH in the history of our planet, & yet the highest suicide rates (recorded since WW2). Just bc ppl are “talking” more, or sharing “stigma” campaigns more, doesn’t mean what we’re talking abt, or campaigning for, is working.


These campaigns we continue to use have been arnd for decades. We live in a copycat society & we build off what others have established (even if there’s no evidence of them working), bc they sound familiar. For so long, we’ve talked abt “1 in 5” having disorder, & “Stopping Stigma.”


Yet, we don’t think abt how those msgs impact the other 4in5 tuning them out, nor the ppl we point at/target w the Stop/Stomp Stigma campaigns.


As Dr. Andrew Pleener said on the phone today, after coming to the presentation w the Panthers: Your msg of 5in5 being effected, is actually the case, biologically. His explanation: the DSM-5 is always changing, there are always new/diff criteria. If we look at how stress & trauma impact us, on any level, it increases cortisol, tightens up our vagus nerve tone, gets us caught in fight/flight mode for too long, causes inflammation. Even situationally – enough of those situations, over time, BUILD, & our systems change, & our stress/trauma actually cause physical health complications.


So it may not be that 5in5 develop disorder at the DSM-5 “criteria” on any given yr., but we all have physical changes to our bodies, caused by the stresses & traumas we live through, that impact us negatively, & if we want to stay healthy, we must proactively do things, like STARR, just like we go to the gym/eat well.


You present this concept to any group, like Manhasset’s MH professionals, & they get “it” & are ready to take a pic, raising their hand, saying #SameHere.


Hope I’m not the Holiday Grinch, but these existing 1/5 & stigma campaigns separate us. Coming together is where progress is at!

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