Stand Up To Stigma recognizes that preconceptions and misconceptions associated with specific social groups – such as individuals living with the challenges and triumphs of behavioral health issues – often limit and marginalize these individuals. Rather than treating these individuals as person first and only, these preconceptions and misconceptions – collectively known as stigmas – often require that these individuals must overcome the burden of proving themselves capable, dependable, and worthy.
Because of stigmas and stigmatization, the individual is seen as a collection of disease symptoms that garner stigma-borne sympathy, pity, alienation, and “other than normal” treatment.
Of greatest importance is to demonstrate to the public, providers, law enforcement, policy makers, legislators, employers, and all who have direct influence upon a peer’s life and livelihood that mental health issues are merely symptoms to manage and they do not define the individual.
The best way to convey this message is through the Power of Personal Experience. Through peers sharing and telling their personal stories living with behavioral health issues, stigmatization is countered by reality and not mired in fantasy.
Stand Up To Stigma is strictly an educational organization that gives peers many programs to choose from to share their personal story, specific to the intended audience that may carry unwarranted and unsubstantiated stigmas. Stand Up To Stigma creates the opportunity for peers to take part in breaking down restrictive stigmas by sharing that “I Am Not My Disease.”
Stand Up To Stigma believes in one simple principle. Through peers sharing their stories and through education and understanding:
Stigma Is Temporary