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Changing the conversation

What you can do to change the conversation about mental health

Written by Megan Stonecipher and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

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Mental health is often a topic that is misunderstood and stigmatized by most people.  It is often stigmatized because people have misconceptions and misinformation about mental health conditions.  These misconceptions can cause the importance of mental health to be downplayed, which in turn can be harmful to those who live with these conditions.  Downplaying mental health can lead to those living with these conditions not getting the proper help and support that they need.  Changing the conversation about mental health will uncover the importance of mental health and help create a less stigmatizing culture surrounding mental health.  Listed below we have a few ways that you can help breakdown the stigma of mental health.   

Further your knowledge on mental health topics

  • You cannot change the conversation on mental health without learning about mental health conditions, so take the time to learn more about mental health conditions
  • There are plenty of great resources that are available at your fingertips!
  • Here are a few organisations that are involved with mental health conditions: Samaritans, Aware, Pieta House, Reach Out, and See Change
  • There are plenty of articles addressing various mental health subjects listed under our mental health tab as well on

Speak up!

  • Discourage those from using stigmatizing terms
  • Stigma is often based on misinformation and misconceptions, so you speaking up can help them realize that the terms or information that they are saying is not accurate

Education is key

  • Not only is it important to speak up when you hear others saying incorrect or stigmatizing information about mental health, but it is also just as important to education your friends, family, classmates, and so on
  • The more people learn about mental health, the more people will be willing to talk about it

Overall our mental health and wellbeing are incredibly important to all of us.  Although some people may not have this view yet, mental health conditions are just as important as physical health conditions.  Just like a person facing a physical condition cannot choose whether or not they have cancer, a person facing a mental health condition cannot choose whether or not they have depression.  So let’s change the conversation so that the importance of mental health can be recognized alongside the importance of physical health.  By changing the conversation we will be able to break down the stigma surrounding the topic, and further help those who are facing mental health conditions get the support and help they need.  

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Published June 8th2017
Tags mental health education wellbeing
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