Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Say It Forward Anti-Stigma Campaign Uses Truth To Break The Chains Of Stigma

September 30, 2013

SAN DIEGO and CHICAGO, Sept. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — When it comes to mental health conditions, silence is not golden. Silence breeds stigma, and stigma hurts: it prevents people from seeking life-saving treatment and support. That’s why the International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) have joined forces to promote Say It Forward 2013 (SIF), an email and social media anti-stigma campaign that educates people about the reality of mental health conditions.

“Although progress has been made to change attitudes about mental health conditions, many still acknowledge discomfort towards people with mental illnesses,” explains Scott Suckow, Executive Director of the International Bipolar Foundation. “These perceptions lag behind those of other health conditions, such as diabetes and cancer. Through campaigns like SIF, we can separate myth from fact and help those facing mental health issues feel comfortable seeking care and support.”

The World Health Organization reports that 1 in every 4 people develops one or more mental health disorders at some stage in life. Yet only 1 in 3 Americans get treatment. Among individuals with bipolar disorder, 25-50% attempt suicide at least once, which is a leading cause of death in this group. This is a preventable tragedy because with proper treatment, individuals with mental health conditions can–and do–achieve their dreams, leading full, rewarding lives.

SIF, established by IBPF, reached over 10,000 people last year. In 2013, SIF has a goal of expanding its reach to 20,000 individuals. The campaign will begin September 30 through October 10, 2013, which includes International Bipolar Awareness Day.

DBSA President Allen Doederlein shares, “The work DBSA and IBPF do to educate and support people living with mood disorders is important and impactful–but it’s only the beginning. The SIF 2013 campaign provides a vital next step, with a user-friendly and simple way to connect with a much broader audience, made up of people who may or may not have mental health concerns themselves. All of us, across the globe, need to be reminded that these conditions are serious and life-threatening, but also highly treatable. The first step to wellness is speaking up, and that’s what SIF is all about!”

Truth has the power to affect change. Join us by taking a simple step–visit SayItForwardCampaign.org and share the myths and facts of mental illness by email, Facebook, and/or Twitter.

CONTACT: Ashley Jacobs, 1-858-764-2496, ajacobs@InternationalBipolarFoundation.org

SOURCE International Bipolar Foundation

Source: PR Newswire