It is estimated that one in every five people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. In Sacramento County alone, more than 300,000 residents live with mental illness. But, two-thirds of these individuals do not seek support or treatment because they worry they will lose their jobs, their friends or family, or be isolated because of the stigma and discrimination associated with having a mental illness.
Six years ago, the Sacramento County Division of Behavioral Health Services
initiated a multimedia and community outreach project that aims to fundamentally alter negative attitudes and perceptions about mental illness by replacing myths and stereotypes with examples of wellness, recovery, and hope.
In recognition of Mental Health Month this May, the “Mental Illness: It’s not always what you think
” project will be participating in several upcoming events within the community, distributing helpful information to attendees in an effort to help stop stigma and discrimination, promote mental health and wellness, and inspire hope for people and families living with mental illness. These will be great opportunities for you – and residents throughout the County - to get involved in spreading messages of hope and increasing awareness for individuals and families living with mental illness.
Get involved and help to stop stigma during Mental Health Month:
- View expressive artwork from Sacramento County residents who are living with, or support others living with, mental illness:
- May 1 – June 31: The Sierra Health Foundation (1321 Garden Hwy, 1st floor Lobby, during normal business hours).
- May 12: The Sacramento Poetry Center (1719 25th St., during normal business hours). An open house reception will take place on Second Saturday, May 13th from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
- May 28 – June 1: The Governor’s Wall at the California State Capitol will display artwork along the outside of the Governor’s office at the State Capitol (1315 10th St., during normal business hours). Admission is free.
- Show your support for those living with mental illness and pledge to reduce stigma by signing the digital Wall of Hope on the project website.
- Share your personal story of hope and recovery to help stop stigma and discrimination toward people and families living with mental illness. Telling your story may encourage others to share their experiences and may end the silence that contributes to isolation and shame.
- Join the Stop Stigma Sacramento Speakers Bureau or invite one of the compelling speakers to share their personal stories of hope and inspiration at an upcoming event.
- Learn more about reducing stigma and discrimination at StopStimaSacramento.org and show your support on social media by following the project on Twitter @StopStigmaSac and be sure to ‘like’ the project on Facebook and engage in positive mental health messages using the hashtag #StopStigma.
For more information on Sacramento County’s “Mental Illness: It’s not always what you think” project, please visit www.stopstigmasacramento.org
This program is funded by the Division of Behavioral Health Services through the voter approved Proposition 63, Mental Health Services Act .