How should we talk about mental health?

I’ll be brief. As people who care about others, it wouldn’t hurt any of us to invest five or so minutes in reading this excellent TED article, and hope its wisdom sinks into our actions a little. Every person’s actions can make a difference.
And for those of us who are writers, we are in the privileged position of being able to contribute in a second way too — the right word, a feeling captured, a This Is Me moment someone reads in a book one day, can save a life.
Five or so minutes to read this, okay?
Sorry to be soapbox-ey, but it matters.

TED Blog

Mental health suffers from a major image problem. One in every four people experiences mental health issues — yet more than 40 percent of countries worldwide have no mental health policy. Across the board it seems like we have no idea how to talk about it respectfully and responsibly.

Stigma and discrimination are the two biggest obstacles to a productive public dialogue about mental health; indeed, the problem seems to be largely one of communication. So we asked seven mental health experts: How should we talk about mental health? How can informed and sensitive people do it right – and how can the media do it responsibly?

End the stigma

Easier said than done, of course. Says journalist Andrew Solomon, whose tear-inducing talk about depression was published today: “People still think that it’s shameful if they have a mental illness. They think it shows personal weakness. They think…

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