Mental Health Stigma Reduction

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Fresno County Behavioral Health Warm Line

The DBH COVID-19 Warm Line provides non-emergency emotional and coping support to community members. Warm line operators provide supportive listening, practical coping ideas, and information on how to get connected to behavioral health services.

DBH COVID-19 Warm Line:

  • 559-600-WARM (9276)
  • Monday - Friday, 8:00AM to 5:00PM

COVID-19 and Your Mental Health

We understand that the recent COVID-19 events can be a particularly stressful time. While protecting your physical health is important, taking care of your mental health is just as vital to your overall well-being.

The Fresno County Department of Public Health (FCDPH) has plans in place to inform and protect all residents, limit exposures to any new cases if identified, and address concerns as they arise. This health crisis will require everyone to play a role during this challenging time— we urge everyone to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene at all times, and stay home as much as possible to prevent catching or passing on the infection.

To help County residents during this time, please visit the following resources on how to care for your mental health, coping tips and how to find additional help:


Visit Us

1925 E. Dakota Ave
Fresno, CA 93726


Call Us

Monday - Friday
8AM - 5PM
(559) 600-6899

Fax (559) 600-7711

Mental Health Stigma Reduction

Guidance and Resources

1 in 5 adults experience mental illness.
Now more than ever, it’s time for us to talk about it.

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.

Even though there’s a greater knowledge of mental illness and treatment, many people who live with bipolar disorder, major depression, schizophrenia and other conditions still face barriers in public attitudes. This stigma can keep them from seeking help.

Our goal is to amplify the voices of all people who want to put an end to this stigma. You can help us create a community where everyone feels comfortable reaching out for the support they deserve. Together, we can work to normalize mental health issues in Fresno County, and help reduce the stigma surrounding it. We want to educate Fresno County residents on where to find services and how to access community resources for mental health support.

Check In

Check in with your family and friends. No matter the distance, you can always reach out through a phone call, text or video chat.

Stat the Conversation

Here are a few ways to help you think about what you would like to say to your loved one:

“For the past (day / week / month / year), it seems like you’ve been feeling (unlike yourself / sad / anxious / overwhelmed / moody / lonely / etc.)…”

“I would like to help you (talk to a doctor, therapist or guidance counselor / figure out what to do / talk about this again / create a plan to get better / find a support group.) What can I do?”

“Talking to you about this makes me feel (nervous / embarrassed / guilt / etc.) but I’m telling you this because (I’m worried about you / it’s affecting our relationship / I don’t know if anyone else has talked to you about this)…”

“I’ve noticed your (change in appetite / weight loss or gain /substance use / change in sleep / risky sexual behavior / isolation / talk of self-harm or suicide / etc.)…”

“You seem to be struggling with your (health / loss of a loved one / job loss/etc.)…”

Check In On Your Own Mental Health

  • Recognize Your Own Emotions & Feelings
  • There’s No Shame in Asking for Help
  • Take a Free Mental Health Screen at

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.

  • 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

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.

Public stigma

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.