blogOne of the benefits of blogging is that you run into interesting people and ideas. If you blog on WordPress you also get regular information about others who are doing the same thing.

This past week I learned about a group of bloggers who are all working to reduce stigma and increase understanding of mental health – the Blog for Mental Health.

As a psychiatrist I have been immersed in the struggle of people with depression to reclaim their lives, and an important part of that struggle is often dealing with stigma.

I also had a chance to visit Japan, where mental health has been even more stigmatized than in this country, and to work with psychiatrists and advocates there to address stigma. And, from those experiences, I discovered that a lot of the power of stigma is not about what others think, but about what we ourselves think… For example, I came to realize that a major source of stigma was actually the negative thoughts about working with people with mental health issues that mental health professionals carried with them. This led me to make a major effort to avoid that myself, and to start wearing, and handing out, silver ribbons (for the NARSAD campaign to fight stigma against brain disorders) to everyone who would accept them.

I am pleased to support this effort and to “take the pledge” of support –

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

For more information about the project you can visit their website –

http://acanvasoftheminds.com/

And for information about the campaign –

http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/