11/14/2022 Neglecting The Negative Impact Words May Have On Normalizing Conversations As A Society

In our campaigns…the titles of our articles…the names of our events – we’ve fallen into the trap, as a society, of thinking abt what resonates w those suffering in the moment w MH complications, instead of focusing on how we normalize this topic. The irony of it all is – if we focused on the normalization, those suffering in the moment (whether that moment’s a month, a yr, or many yrs), would suffer LESS.

Chose my words carefully above: “suffering in the moment.” Chose them for a # of reasons (& if uve followed here, this’ll not come as a surprise), bc I do not believe we have 2 separate groups in our society: “the mentally ill” vs the “healthy.” This topic’s NOT binary. We all live on a MH continuum. The concept of disorder (severe symptoms) may be ON that continuum, but everyone’s MH suffers at some pt, to varying degrees, just like their physical health. 

Yet, in our campaigns we yell: “Stop the Stigma!” Do we realize that stigma means that – other human beings (not the phone I’m typing on, or some inanimate object) are forming unfair opinions & judgments abt another group of human beings. In the case of that campaign we’re saying – “those effected,” want you mean ppl, to stop. It soothes the frustration of those suffering in the moment, while pushing those who – DONT THINK they’re part of that “group” further away. Campaigns like that literally have the opposite impact of what they’re intended to do: normalize this topic. 

I brought this up today bc of the news story I was sent yesterday ➡️slide, titled “Canada Will Allow Assisted Dying For Mental Illness.”

I posted it in Stories & a friend asked: what abt posting the full article? But we’re a society of headline readers. Whatever ur opinion on the actual option being presented – do we realize articles titled like this have one major effect on those who DONT believe MH currently applies to them? That effect is: “well, the rare chance I suffer from MI at some pt, it must be so bad, I’ll WANT to choose to die. 

Does that normalize this convo? Or does it further make us believe there’s a terribly effected group vs everyone else? It’s the opposite of normalization. 

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