Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or persistent and major depression are the most common mental illnesses in which people who have them experience the most stigma.
A stigma is when someone views someone else in a negative way because they have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that’s thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage. Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common.
Despite this, Ferris State University RSOs such as the American Chemical Society, Student Psychology Association, Active Minds and the Pre-Pharmacy Club all came together on Thursday, April 7 to help raise awareness in regards to the stigma against mental illness.
“A great group of passionate students formed from all of these RSOs and really helped make the project great,” said Ferris American Chemical Society representative Abigail DeMaet.
Ferris staff, students and faculty members all came out to gain knowledge about a topic that is said to continuously be ignored and misunderstood.
Faculty members from all over campus were also there to represent, support and inform students of the stigma against mental illness through PowerPoint talks and other various presentations.
“What people don’t understand is that individuals don’t choose to be depressed or have a mental illness, but that it is a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes it. I think doctors should stop looking for reasons as to why someone is depressed and instead focus on helping those people,” said Ferris psychology freshman Mary Rogers.
“I think raising awareness is the best way to do so and the presentations today really put it all into perspective.”
Abigail DeMaet explained where her passion for the issue originated, after confessing the ways in which she has experienced the stigma in her own life.
“I’ve personally watched the stigma against mental health. I’ve witness the medications cause damage to people and found a need to spread a little bit of understanding to those on campus.”
Based on the turn out and the feedback given after the event, Ferris students can expect more events like this to come, raising awareness to students and faculty about topics they feel need to be addressed.