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Sign the Pledge to Stop the Stigma

I pledge to…

Show compassion by reaching out to those in need.
(I will not let anyone suffer in silence!)

Have the courage to speak up and challenge stereotypes and attitudes.
(I will not tolerate or perpetuate stigma!)

Teach by sharing my own experiences with mental illness and encouraging others to share theirs.
(I will learn in order to change!)

Demand a change in how we view and address mental illness.
(I will help lead the way!)

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Many thanks to Hartford Hospital’s Institute of Living for sharing their Stop the Stigma concept and pledge with South Shore Mental Health.

Take the Pledge to Help South Shore Mental Health Stop the Stigma of Mental Illness!

When you take the pledge to Stop the Stigma, you’re integrating mental health conversation into daily life and helping to correct the misconceptions that perpetuate attitudes about mental illness.

You’re also reminding us to think before we speak. We may not mean to offend when we use words like psychonuts…or…crazy, but the association is implied. It can’t hurt to choose our words more carefully, because words do matter!

Since 1926, South Shore Mental Health has been building hope and changing lives from Boston to Cape Cod. Each year, our early intervention and mental health treatment and recovery programs help more than 16,000 children, teens, and adults living with mental illness.

It’s estimated that 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition, yet nearly two-thirds do not seek treatment for fear of discrimination—rejection—and the stigma surrounding mental illness.

What is Mental Health Stigma?

There are two types of mental health stigma. Social stigma is characterized by prejudice and discrimination toward people living with a mental health condition and labelled by a psychiatric diagnosis. Perceived (or self) stigma occurs when mental health sufferers internalize their perceptions of discrimination—feeling shame, alienation, and humiliation as a result.

The fear of stigma can be devastating for children, teens, and adults alike. Faced with pity, distrust, and other unwarranted emotions based on ignorance, people with mental illness are often disinclined to seek and stay in treatment. Stuck in the shadows, untreated mental illness is a leading cause of suicide among adults and youth…the leading cause of workplace disability worldwide…and a contributing factor to school drop-out rates, juvenile delinquency, homelessness, and addiction disorders.

The good news is that treatment for mental illness works, so talking openly about it is an important step toward stopping the stigma and encouraging people to seek help.


Show Your Support

Help “Stop the Stigma”! Purchase a tee-shirt for $25 with free shipping! Proceeds go directly to SSMH programs.


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