Stand Up To Stigma is a mental health support, education, and advocacy collaborative with support groups and education programs developed by peers, managed by peers, and promoted by peers. The mission of Stand Up To Stigma is to address the many misconceptions (stigmas) associated with living with a mental health condition, and through open, honest communication lessen the impact stigmas have on the lives of peers.

The core belief of STS is simple. Through education and understanding . . .


What’s it like living with a mental health condition (sometimes referred to as a “mental illness”)? Stand Up To Stigma (STS) is grounded in the belief the most successful way to help others understand what it’s like to live with a mental health condition is for those living with these conditions (peers) sharing stories of their personal life experiences. STS Education Programs are developed by peers to engage the community, with the goal of removing the mystery and confusion surrounding mental health challenges and treatment.

What is a stigma? A stigma is a misconception and attitude about a person or group of people that doesn’t match the reality of who they are. With mental health peers, some of the stigmas faced are:

  • Peers are violent.
  • Peers are unintelligent.
  • Peers are undependable.
  • Peers are faking their symptoms.
  • Peers have a choice in having a disease.
  • Peers are defined by their disease.

STS education programs are offered free to the community. Our organization is funded and sponsored by community partners dedicated to bringing the voices of STS peers forward in the spirit of understanding and acceptance. We’re always excited to welcome new community partners in our mission of ending stigmas through education.

STS peers have presented our education programs to many community partners:

City of Albuquerque Police Department; Highlands University; Legal Aid New Mexico; Albuquerque Public School District; University of New Mexico; Central New Mexico College; College of Santa Fe; New Mexico Department of Health – Turquoise Lodge Hospital; Presbyterian Anna Kaseman Hospital; Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (MHRAC); Bosque Farms Police Department; UNM Echo; Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Albuquerque chapter; NAMI Albuquerque; and numerous one-off community events and ongoing Zoom presentations.

STS maintains two websites, designed as content mirrors of each other: – Dedicated to STS Community Education Programs. – Dedicated to STS Peer Support Groups (formerly DBSA Albuquerque).