Welcome to the SOS (Stomping Out Stigma) Portal. Here you will find information about what Stigma is and how you can stop it, as well as links to other resources. Click on the links below to find out more about the following:
Video by the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Youthnet Program and Participants.
Like TAMI, the YouthNet program helps youth in the Ottawa region start up Student Wellness Committees in their own high schools.
What Is Stigma
The word Stigma refers to a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something. Often, people with mental illness say that the stigma that comes with Mental Illness can be worse than the illness itself. Here’s how the Mental Health Commission of Canada talks about stigma:
“Stigma is destructive. It leaves a mark of shame that makes people feel different and socially excluded. It is a major barrier to recovery. Among youth, the stigma often associated with mental health problems or illnesses can lead to teasing, bullying and, in extreme cases, catastrophic outcomes including suicide.”
Stigma stops people from getting help by silencing them and making them afraid to talk about their problems. Stigma also perpetuates stereotypes, or causes them to continue. Lots of ideas that fuel stigma aren’t even true, like the idea that people with mental illness just need to “try harder” or “cheer up” to feel better.