- Posted by Austin Swim
- On November 25, 2014
- 0 Comments
- behavioral health stigma, substance abuse stigma
We created our behavioral health billing company because we have a passion for improving drug and alcohol treatment. Not only do we care about how coverage affects people in treatment, but we also care about coming up with new ways to spread mental health awareness and increase the community effort towards meaningful solutions. We’re proud to say that 10% of our profits go to fight addiction on the individual level, but it’s not enough to change some deep-rooted stigmas at the community level.
The Stigma Behind Mental Illness is Cross-Cultural
Depending on who you talk to you may get a different opinion about mental illness as far as what it is and how it can be classified. This stems from how behavioral health issues tend to be deeply rooted in long standing familial and cultural beliefs across countries and ethnicities. Each cultural view seems to have their own unique perspective, based on history and practices spanning many generations.
According to a 18-month study run by Carpenter-Song et al.(2010), all of the main ethnic groups in the US all felt a cultural stigma towards behavioral health; however, African American and Latino minorities were more likely to classify mental health illness as a personal weakness, more so than their European American counterparts. Because of this, these ethnicities were less likely to seek help among the professional community, and instead, deal with the behavioral health problems internally, at home [uniteforsite.org, Module 7: Cultural Perspectives on Mental Health]. With this information, it’s clear that different views exist within the American culture itself, yet there’s an opportunity to change these perspectives and improve treatment.
As a behavioral health billing company, we are not able to change cultural influences and ethnic opinions on mental illness by ourselves. Together, however, we can offer fresh ways through community outreach to change the stigma that exists in our communities.
Ways You Can Help
Organize a Special Event At Your Church
You can speak to your church leader to see if they would be open to letting you borrow the dining hall for a information session about people and addiction. A catered event will bring in people maybe you’ve never met and you’ll have the chance to network with like minded community influencers.
Raise Money to Bring A Guest Speaker to Local Schools
Connect with a local treatment center to find an individual in recovery or a life coach to get the true untold story of addiction. Young adults will learn at a young age the risks and realities of addiction, and what you could do to help a friend or loved one who may already be struggling with it.
Talk to your Local Rotary Club About How You Can Promote Awareness
There are a variety of events you can do through your local community club. One possible choice could be to organize a 5-k race in the name of donating money to drugfree.org, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, a worthy cause and resource for parents and children.
Through spreading awareness together, we can help people better understand how to approach the topic of addiction.