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Why Mental Health Needs a Positive Image Makeover

Submitted by on February 5, 2011 – 7:07 pmNo Comment
Why Mental Health Needs a Positive Image Makeover

Unless our mental health services receive a ‘positive image makeover’ then mental illness will never be acknowledged for what it really is, just another state of health condition. It’s also essentially important that we move beyond the many ‘misconceptions, judgement and stigma’ associated with the suffering of mental illness.

It’s equally paramount, that we promote a positive message of awareness, and promote the many benefits of our mental health service providers. This includes the positive promotion of all that, their comprehensive A-Z range of services encompass. The state of one’s mental health condition doesn’t always imply they’re mentally disturbed or mentally insane.  

Blogging From My Padded Cell

If this were the case, then I’d probably still be blogging from my padded cell. Mental illness, mental health encompasses everything from social and emotional intelligence to suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, fears, enduring addictions, depression, contemplating self harm and suicide.

You don’t need to lose all your ‘mindscape marbles’ to be called mad. You don’t need to mimic a chimpanzee to be considered crazy. You don’t even need to be apologetic or make excuses for being an extreme sports junkie. Most interestingly, these ‘flirting with danger’ antics are no longer questioned anymore. But are instead, often looked on by many with absolute admiration.

Certified Legally Insane

But as soon as someone says the dreaded “D” word, it automatically makes many people feel very uncomfortable. If you’ve ever admitted suffering from depression, everyone’s queuing up to have you ‘certified legally insane’. Many are of the belief that you will never make a full recovery, that you’ll never be able to hold it all together or survive your ordeal.

They’ll also find it extremely difficult to maintain eye contact, without being able to look past those humungous letters that are now imprinted on your forehead – “DS”…………… Depression Sufferer. In their mind’s eye, regardless of your future state of health condition, from that point on your credibility will always be questioned nevertheless.

Coming Out of The Mental Health Closet

It’s this ‘revolving door stigma’ that makes coming out of the ‘mental health closet almost impossible’. This can be even more nightmarish than enduring the adverse cause and effect scope of influences that is commonly associated with the sufferance of depression.

When you consider the fundamental roles and responsibilities preformed by our Brain Box, including the millions and millions of complex tasks that it carries out diligently on a daily basis, of course it’s going to be susceptible to imbalance and malfunction. Everything has its design limits and capabilities. And once exceeded this becomes evident by the onset of mental illness.

The manner in which our brain box operates is no different to any other parts of the human body. No, that’s not entirely true. Because our brain box is fundamentally at the very core and interconnected with our overall level of happiness, harmony, excellent health and well being, it’s vitally important that it oversees this occurring in the very first instance.

Even without being socially, emotionally or physically challenged our Brain Box is under a great deal of pressure to perform. Is it any wonder why it yearns for a much needed ‘mental health time-out’.

My Mental Health Positive Image Makeover Recommendations

In energetic alignment with a number of my previous blogs these are my recommendations on how to best provide our mental health services with a positive image makeover. This includes:

  • Why not utilise the therapeutic healing power of humour to respectfully de-stigmatise the sufferance of mental health and its service providers.  
  • Call on the services of well known Australians to share their positive mental illness success stories. 
  • Promote a series of awareness commercials that implies it’s absolutely COOL to come clean about mental illness. 
  • It’s paramount that we disassociate with any negative perceptions about mental illness, unless this involves the hidden dangers of non-treatment.   
  • Emphasise the only shame associated with mental illness is ‘unnecessarily suffering in silence’.    
  • Invest more funds and resources where it’s most needed, healthcare’s essentially important ‘front end’.   
  • A clear distinction needs to be made that our brain box, just like any other part of the human body, is ‘susceptible to imbalance and malfunction’. 
  • In reinforcement of dot point number 1, the use of humour. Why not also use a number of ‘satirical language of the mind’ messages that stamp out any prejudice behaviour towards those suffering from mental illness. 
  • More than anything, we need to ‘promote a powerful positive message’ that instils absolute confidence that they will nevertheless’ bounce back from mental illness’. 
  • Previous healthcare blog –  An invitation to heal healthcare. 
  • Previous healthcare blog –  The satirical side of seeking sanity. 

Chris Vellis – Thursday Island, Queensland Australia

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