Mental Health Stigma Reduction

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1925 E. Dakota Ave, Fresno, CA 93726
Phone (559) 600-6899, Fax (559) 600-7711
Hours of Operation M - F, 8:00am - 5:00pm


Mental Health Stigma Reduction

Every day, millions of people face stigma related to mental health because they or their loved ones are facing a challenge. Many of these people feel isolated and alone, going years before receiving any help. Our goal is to amplify the voices of all people who want to put an end to this stigma, creating a community where everyone feels comfortable reaching out for the support they

Despite advances in the understanding of treatment for mental illness, people who live with bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, and other severe and persistent conditions continue to face barriers in public attitudes that often deter them from engaging in recovery.

Objective is to normalize mental health issues in Fresno County and help reduce the stigma surrounding it. We want to educate Fresno County residents as to where to find and how to access
available community resources for mental health support.

What is Stigma?
In order to understand the reasons behind why people wait so long to receive help
for mental health needs, it’s important to understand the concept of stigma.
Research tells us that the largest barrier to reaching out for mental health needs is

  • Stigma is a way of thinking that says that certain people are less deserving of our respect.
  • Stigma comes from negative and incorrect beliefs, or stereotypes, about groups of people.
  • Fear of being left out or picked on because of who you are is stigma.
  • The effects of stigma can make you feel sad, ashamed or alone.

Stigma can be seen in the attitudes of those around us toward mental illness, but
also in the way we judge our own challenges with this issue. Stigma can be found
in numerous places and there are many types of stigma:

Self-stigma: refers to attitudes and beliefs within yourself. For example, someone who is experiencing mental illness may think that they are unable to live a fulfilling life because of their condition.

Public stigma: refers to the attitudes and beliefs of the general public towards
persons with mental health challenges or their family members. For example, the public may assume that people with psychiatric conditions are violent and dangerous.

Institutional stigma: refers to an organization’s policies or culture of negative
attitudes and beliefs. For example, stigma is often reflected in the use of clinical terms, such as
a “schizophrenic.” It is preferable to use “people first” language, such as “a person experiencing schizophrenia.”


Resources for Stigma Reduction

Each Mind Matters - Each Mind Matters is California’s Mental Health Movement. We are millions of individuals and thousands of organizations working to advance mental health. The mental health movement certainly didn’t start with us, but Each Mind Matters was created to unite all of us who share a vision of improved mental health and equality.

NAMI - NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.

Mental Health America - Mental Health America (MHA) - founded in 1909 - is the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and to promoting the overall mental health of all Americans.

Walk In Our Shoes - Are you curious about what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes? Do you want to learn about other people’s lives? Curiosity and learning are great, so lace up, strap on, or slip on your sneakers and let’s learn about mental health. Learning about other people can help you understand that they’re still a lot like you — they’re just on a journey in different shoes.

Directing Change - The Directing Change Program starts with exposing youth to knowledge about the topics of mental health and suicide prevention by providing instructional tools to educators, educational resources to youth, and additional resources to further learning about the basic components of suicide prevention. From here, youth must apply suicide prevention knowledge to formulate and create their own unique message about suicide prevention for their peers.