Men Speaking Out Against Mental Stigma
What do you know about mental stigma? Do you have any illnesses? Do you know someone with a mental illness?
My friend asked me to check out the Strength-In-Unity.ca website. She was in the Bachelor of Social Work program. Part of the course is to help create awareness and reduce the stigmas related to mental health illness.
Many cultures have different sigma’s associated with mental health. They also have stigma’s about mental illness. It’s how they behave around it, that is most important.
The course is about educating of boys and men of the Asian community. Stopping mental stigma before it begins.
Where Are They
Strength in Unity is working to reduce stigmas of mental illness in three Canadian cities. Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver have large populations of members from these communities.
Strength in Unity knows it’s important to stay connected to all members in these communities. Strength in Unity work side by side with individuals to educate and eliminate the stigma.
The Strength in Unity team looks to the community it serves to help bring awareness to the members of that community. They look to change the way people see mental illness and how those disability are seen.
What Is A Stigma
Some readers may not be familiar with what a Stigma is. Let’s look at the definition. A stigma is a stereotype that people have about other people. Its a belief that somebody is not normal. It is about not having the understanding or experience with a certain group of individuals. Due to this lack of understanding, people or member of community, discrimination against other people with certain undiagnosed or untreated mental illnesses.
No matter the country or culture we study and no matter what country we visit and no matter what we hear about on the news or in daily conversation with other people, we find that stigma’s against people exist and will continue to exist unless we do our part to educate people within our own communities about it.
The reduction of this stigma is critical for people who suffer with disabilities. It has been shown through various studies that early involvement by parents, teachers and community members will teach boys and men, how they play a major role in the reduction of mental stigmas within their communities.
What Communities Are They Focused On
There are 2 ways that the members of Strength in Unity have used to educate the Asian community:
First they educate the boys and men by using the Acceptance Commitment Training method (ACT) and the Contact-based Empowerment Education (CEE) method. Once the boys and men are ready and willing to go into their communities they become ambassadors who go out and teach others to overcome the stigma of mental illness thus helping bring people closer within those communities and other communities.
Strength in Unity believes that community partnerships is one of the ways to reduced the stigma’s associated with mental illness. Currently the Movember campaign that takes place in November funds the cause. Movember brings awareness to prostate cancer. Men will typically grow a stach to show their support and collect monies for the continued research into finding a cure.
Now that we have an understanding about who Strength in Unity is, what they are doing and who they have partnered up with it is important to understand WHY the need exists and why it continues to be important to our society if we want to give humanity a chance.
Asian immigrants are one of the fastest growing segments in our population in Canadian. They represent about 15% of our overall numbers. As Canada open the boards and allows more people to become Canadian citizens and enjoy the freedoms we have, the mental illness stigma’s people carry with them will come to Canada and become a part of the communities they represent and take part in.
As the populations in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver continue to grow and members from the Filipino, Indian, and Chinese communities continue to call Canada home, Strength in Unity understands the need to help these new Canadians create the unity needed to keep their culture strong as well as develop a Canada they is not discriminating again people.
What the Strength in Unity team requires from all of us is to spread the word of mental illness and the stigma’s associated with it. Their goal is to reduce the numbers of abuse cases seen due to the stigmas and the inability of members of the communities to take action when it comes to education and understanding what to do.
I would recommend going over to Strength-in-unity.ca website and finding out more about what they are doing and how you can be a part of the change they are looking to create. The goal of Strength in Unity is to educate, empower and help create the changes needed to grow strong communities, cultures and societies today and for the future.
They would love to see members of the Asian community, as well members of other communities, support them by bringing awareness to mental illness. Strength in Unity understands that iron sharpens iron and one community member strengthens another.
It’s your turn to make a difference in someone’s life. Share the solution people are looking for on your favourite social media platform. It’s easy to do and a proven fact your inner circle wants to know what you know.
Leave a comment by telling us what you will do to help put a stop to mental stigma.
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