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INDEPENDENCE


Should be a Common Wealth

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Oct 22 2015: With dignity. Greg Borja

October was proclaimed Behavioral Health Awareness Month and on Oct. 10, 2015, it was celebrated as World Mental Health Day. This year the theme of is “Dignity.” Webster’s defines dignity as “the quality of being worthy of honor or respect.”

We all experience challenges with our mental health. Whether it comes through stresses caused by work or trying to get your home back in order after a disaster or more severe cases like having social anxieties or seeing and hearing things that may not really be there. We all deserve dignity in our lives. The Mental Health Foundation states, “We believe that effectively supporting people experiencing mental health problems is on target to become one of the greatest public health challenges of our time. Stigmatizing and discriminatory treatment can be particularly distressing when a person is experiencing a health crisis.” The Mandt System states that, “Dignity + Respect + Honesty = Trust, and when trust is in place, it is easier to ask for help…”

There are going to be times when we need to seek help for ourselves or for those we care about, and showing dignity to those in need helps to eliminate stigma or fear about mental health needs. We live in a small community and know many around who could use our help when in a time of crisis, especially relating to the recent events that shook our islands. Ask someone if they need help and speak to them with dignity and respect to build on healthy relationships, I feel this is the “island way.”

Our society has been moving forward in the ways we treat people with mental and/or physical disabilities. As the Mental Health Foundation puts it, “We all have mental health, and by failing to treat people with mental health problems with dignity we make it more difficult to ensure that everyone takes steps to safeguard their wellbeing and to seek help, as it can lead to self-stigma, low confidence, low self-esteem, withdrawal and social isolation.”
For more information about World Mental Health Day please visit http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ and for more on issues surrounding people with disabilities or behavioral health please contact NMPASI at 235-7273/4 or visit us online at nmpasi.org



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