The Montville Township Stigma-Free Taskforce was formed by the Montville Health Department in 2017, and is part of a county-wide effort to eradicate the stigma associated with mentalillness and substance use disorders, thus promoting wellness and recovery in our community. The goals of the Montville Stigma-Free Taskforce are to:
- Raise awareness of:
- what stigma is, and how it is too often associated with mental illness disorders and substance use disorders
- the importance of reducing stigma and thus encourage those afflicted to seek treatment, recovery, and wellness
- the many local resources available to those afflicted
- Encourage all to
- recognize and reduce stigma associated with mental health disorders
- be supportive of those afflicted, and encourage them to seek assistance when needed
- seek help themselves when needed
- Foster a supportive, stigma-free environment where those afflicated feel encouraged to acknowledge disorders and seek help
What is stigma?
Stigma is a mark of disgrace which results from judgment by others, and can cause feelings of shame, distress, and hopelessness. The fear of being stigmatized can cause a reluctance to acknowledge a disorder, and/or a reluctance to seek or accept help.
Why is it important for us to reduce stigma?
Too often, individuals do not acknowledge a disorder and subsequently do not seek or accept help for it due to stigma. Fear of judgment and alienation from friends, family and co-workers; fear of loss of employment, marital status, or access to visitation rights to children; fear of being viewed in a negative light once a problem is acknowledged - all of these fears are caused by stigma and are barriers to seeking wellness and recovery.
What can we do to help reduce/eliminate stigma?
- Don’t use disrespectful terms to describe people with mental illness or substance use disorders
- Don't blame people with mental illness or substance use disorders for their afflictions
- Don't be afraid of people with mental illness or substance use disorders
- Be a role model - always treat those afflicted with respect, encourage others around you to do the same
- Declare your home or business to be Stigma-Free Zone by displaying decals and ribbons
- Make your public event Stigma-Free by including the Stigma-Free logo on your materials and distributing Stigma-Free informational materials and promotional items. Send a copy of your flyer with the Stigma-Free logo to email@example.com and your event will be promoted on the Montville Stigma-Free social media sites
- Volunteer at one of the many Stigma-Free events held here in Montville. Please see our calendar of events, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org