We cannot help those with mental illness without eradicating the stigmas that surround them.
If you had the flu, you probably wouldn't think twice about going to the doctor. If you have asthma, you probably wouldn't think twice about carrying an inhaler. If you needed physical therapy, you probably wouldn't think twice about telling your boss why you need to leave work every Wednesday at 10am. But those who have a mental illness do think twice about all of these things, and many never end up seeking treatment out of fear that they will be misunderstood, deemed "crazy", or seen as weak.
People experiencing mental illness are not crazy or weak, but they are often misunderstood. That is why we as a society must work to understand mental illness and accept those who have a mental illness the same as we would those with a physical illness.
Are you wondering how you can fight the stigma in your everyday life? Language usage is a great place to start. See below for tips from NAMI: