Stigma and discrimination against people with mental health and substance use disorders remain significant barriers to care. On one hand, individuals experiencing problems may not want to view themselves as suffering from a mental health or substance use disorder because of the negative connotations associated with such diagnoses. As a result, they may fail to seek care. Ultimately, their condition may deteriorate to the point at which they become suicidal. On the other hand, those who do seek care may experience distancing from individuals in their lives and other forms of discrimination because their mental health or substance use issues have been identified.
(See Wisconsin Suicide Prevention Strategy, Page 18)
WISE – Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination
WISE is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals promoting inclusion and support for all affected by mental illness by advancing evidence-based practices for stigma reduction efforts. People with lived experience of mental health challenges strategically sharing their story is the current, primary, evidence-based practice and drives the focus of WISE.
Honest, Open, Proud (HOP): To Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Illness (a program of WISE)
HOP is a workbook for small group discussion or personal use. It helps you to look at the story you have been telling yourself, discern helpful and hurtful self-attitudes, and analyze the pros and cons of disclosing in different settings to different people. Lastly, it guides you to draft your own story into a format that discloses not only the pain of mental health challenges but also the internal and external resources you discovered and use to live your life in the way you choose. HOP comes in three versions: Adult, college age, and high school age. For more information or to schedule a training, contact WISE.
WUMH - Wisconsin United for Mental Health - A public-private partnership working to reduce stigma
Man Therapy - An example of a targeted media campaign designed to appeal to working-age men.