What’s the point? A look at Self Stigma
Last week Adrian wrote piece for us on prejudice, this week he is sharing some thoughts on self stigma. It is important to recognize that with stigma, self stigma is something that a person can also experience.
“There’s a promotion opportunity in my company, but there’s no point in my applying for it – with my mental illness, I could never do that job”!
“I really like soccer, but what’s the point in joining a club – they would not want me in the team if they found out about my mental illness”!
These are examples of Self Stigma, which happens when some people with mental illness internalize the prejudice they experience, causing them to withdraw from society. It can also lead to reduced self-esteem and lowered self-confidence. However, not everyone will necessarily experience self-stigma.N.B. Stigma is a social injustice which needs to be tackled at a society level, so it is vital not to suggest that stigma is the person’s fault.
Research shows that programs that promote empowerment are an effective way of reducing self-stigma and encourage people to believe they can achieve their life goals and avoid further negative consequences that result from self-stigmatization;
- They might benefit from structured programs to learn to challenge the irrational statements that plague their self-identity.
- They might benefit from joining groups of peers who have successfully tackled the stigma.
- They may benefit from a strategic program to come out about their stigma.
Green Ribbon actively supports tackling the stigma around mental health at a national level by starting conversations which neutralise the power of stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination. This important work sets the context to allow empowerment to thrive and creates an environment where individuals can eliminate their self-stigma.
#GreenRibbonIRL #EndTheStigma @SeeChangeIRL