Read along as Katie Horneshaw confronts an Australian media outlet’s portrayal of heroin addiction and challenges some of the distorted perceptions around addiction. This article may be rooted in Australia, but it’s message of empathy is inspiring no matter where in the world you’re located.
In August 2018, a public mural highlighting mental illness and homelessness titled, Pieces to Peace was installed in Toledo, Ohio. Community members from all walks of life worked together over two months to create the 20-by-20-foot glass mosaic mural depicting “a homeless person with mental issues crouched in a structure with light coming through a window. Below the person is a set of eyes.” “The message of the mural is about reducing the stigma of mental health disease and homelessness. Everyone we stopped to talk to [about the project] along the way said, ‘I have an aunt, an uncle, a parent, a cousin [with mental health issues]. It’s a universal disease that we don’t talk about. [Discussion] is the goal of the mural, and we believe this visual is going to do that.” Click the title to access the entire article and photos of the mural from The Blade.
“In Maryland and across the nation, Main Street Housing, Inc. is leading the way with an innovative approach to developing quality, affordable, independent rental housing opportunities for people with mental health needs and limited means.” Click the title to visit their website and learn more about their model or apply for housing.
Celebrity endorsements help bring the stigma conversation to the table, but do they really impact the “nearly one in five U.S. adults” who live with mental illness and addiction every day?
The American Psychiatric Association’s Center for Workplace Mental Health has developed a website full of educational information, case studies, and resources to help employers fight distorted perceptions and behavioral health stigma in the workplace. Follow the “Sources” link for their Employee Resources page, which features a calculator for calculating the monetary importance of prioritizing mental health in your workplace, an awareness campaign designed to reduce stigma around mental health, tools for addressing depression in the workplace, and the opportunity to sign up for their monthly Mental Health Works newsletter. Addictions materials are available in the tabs near the top of the page.
In 2016, the National Mental Health Innovation Center (NMHIC) and the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business partnered “to equip the next generation of business leaders with awareness and skills to promote workplace mental health and participate in improving access to care.” Click the title for the full article on how they are challenging Distorted Perceptions through their curriculum and how they got MBA students around the world thinking about strategies to address stigma and mental health in the workplace.
“Mothers with substance abuse disorders have been vilified in our society and are often deemed “unfit” to raise children by the lay public, social service providers, and health care providers. They have rarely been invited to share their views about motherhood and how it affects their recovery.”
“It can be hard for any person with a substance use disorder to quit. But women in particular may be afraid to get help during or after pregnancy due to possible legal or social fears and lack of child care while in treatment. Women in treatment often need support for handling the burdens of work, home care, child care, and other family responsibilities.”
“With one in 10 children between the ages of five and 16 dealing with diagnosable mental health issues, it’s not enough to simply educate teachers. Students also need to be empowered on the issues and take the lead in helping build a safe and open environment for discussion of mental health in schools.”