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  • Writer's pictureJohnson Behavioral Health Group

Abigail Johnson Talks with KSLA on World Mental Health Day

Updated: Feb 21

credits to: KSLA News 12

World Mental Health Day is observed yearly, every 10th of October. This year’s theme is Making Mental Health & Well-Being for All a Global Priority. It encourages people to seek help when needed, where everyone can access mental health care. It promotes equal opportunity to live a fulfilling, meaningful, and rewarding life.

To recognize this event, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Abigail Johnson, the CEO of Johnson Behavioral Health Group, was invited by KSLA News 12 for an interview about mental health awareness.

Mental illness is a topic that is often neglected in society and is still considered a taboo subject. Johnson discussed how mental health has been stigmatized in society and what we can do to change it.

“A lot of times, people can be experiencing changes in their behavior where they might be sleeping more; they might be eating more; they might be having emotional changes—more irritable—difficulty focusing, having trouble on their job (maybe missing job), not answering phone calls,” said Johnson.

Unlike what people think, a person with mental health illness does not automatically refer to someone who behaves aggressively or viciously. Inaccurate stereotypes make mental illness stigma a global issue to tackle. Mental health disorders are just as serious and sensitive as other illnesses and should not be stigmatized. We need to stop thinking of mental health as an issue that only affects the individual; we need to start thinking about it from a perspective of global responsibility.

Johnson made a point to stress the importance of accessing the correct type of therapy and resources to treat mental health illnesses appropriately. Today is the best time to widen access to mental health care as an excellent start to making mental health and well-being for all a global priority. Finding the right resource can be done in various ways, such as asking questions, reading personal information, or assessing risk factors.

But even with cutting-edge technology, many people are still deprived of the treatment they deserve because they lack resources and access to proper mental health care. Let alone the mental illness stigma that prevents them from seeking help in the first place.

This is why stigma against mental illness is a global responsibility, as stigma can lead to many negative consequences, such as:

  • Lack of understanding or misinterpretation of mental illnesses

  • Negative attitudes toward those with mental illnesses

  • Lack of support for those with mental illnesses

  • Greater risk for suicide

This World Mental Health Day, we promote advocacy to take care of one’s mental health and support others in doing so. Mental illness stigma is still prevalent in society, and it can lead to discrimination which can be very damaging. People with mental illness deserve respect, dignity, and empathy like anyone else.

It is everyone’s responsibility to help break down the stigma against mental illness. Let’s make it a mission to combat this stigma worldwide as our personal opening move to making mental health and well-being for all a global priority.

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