Javeed Sukhera of Medical Xpress published an article about “How digital technology can reduce mental illness stigma”. Sukhera shed light on how mental health stigma may be perpetuated, despite good intentions, by mental health providers through shaming and blaming clients for mental health concerns. Also contributing to the issue is the lack of weight given to mental health concerns as compared to medical concerns in modern healthcare, with factors like difficulty getting appointments and long waitlists beleaguering those seeking help.
Sukhera offers suggestions for scientists and practitioners in the mental health field, including:
- Using social media to help research opportunities and messages about mental health, reach a larger population, and create awareness campaigns and social movements.
- Continuing the proliferation of digital mental health education while maintaining a stigma-free ethos and educating consumers on mental health stigma.
- Advocating to make eHealth tools more available for mental health assessment, which can equip patients and families by helping them gain awareness of, and monitor, their mental health, as well as gauging when it’s appropriate to seek help.