Stop Stigma, Support Recovery, Stay Well

December 23, 2009

Washington State wants to eliminate the stigma associated with mental health care and generate awareness about recovery and prevention. The fact that people can and frequently do recover from mental illnesses is a point the public needs to understand. Washington’s Social Marketing Plan is about shifting the emphasis from mental illness to mental health.

The plan entails three strategies to stop stigma and support recovery, they are as follows. The first strategy is to promote the concept of recovery by arranging for recovered persons to tell their story publicly. Secondly, they are going to aggressively rebut the uninformed stigmatization of people with mental illness. Finally, the plan calls for the education of the public about mental illness, how it can be addressed, and how stigma misleads many of us into fear that is not rational and not accurate.

Organized is a Speakers Bureau, whose purpose is to take the story of recovery to constituents at workshops, and a News Bureau, who intends to monitor and respond quickly to stigmatizing media portrayals.

The third and final element of Washington’s Social Marketing Plan is accomplished through education. Guides and fact sheets with information about navigating the mental health care system, key elements of recovery based on consumer experience, and basic principles providers can use to support recovery will be created.


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