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With your help, we can create a community where youth and adults feel safe reaching out for help
Addiction is a chronic brain disease that can be managed with medical treatment--it is NOT a moral failing or a character flaw. But still, only 1 in 10 Americans with a substance use disorder receive treatment. Addiction is highly stigmatized, and that stigma is fueling an American public health crisis.
Mental health conditions and suicide are also issues surrounded by stigma. Mental health conditions are the leading cause of disability across the United States, and suicide is the second leading cause of death of youth (15-24). Many youth and adults don't receive the treatment they need, even though most people with mental health issues can be successfully treated.
We want to create a culture in the Upper Peninsula where people--especially youth--feel safe reaching out for help. To do that, we need to promote understanding of addiction and mental health, and the idea that language matters.
The isolation, blame, and secrecy that is encouraged by stigma can create huge challenges to reaching out, getting support, and living well. So when we talk about the harmful effects of stigma, and stigmatizing language, it’s not about being sensitive, or politically correct. It’s about treatment, care, and saving lives.
What can you do to create a community where it's easy to reach out and ask for help? Share information about mental health and addiction using the hashtag #StigmaStopsHere906 on social media. Check in with friends and family to see how they're doing. And learn more about available local resources.