Time to Talk: Campaigns fight stigma that follows mental illness

If you were to break your arm, you would retell the story in detail,” said Patti Boyd, manager of strategic partnerships of Tri-County Health Department, a public health agency that provides services to Douglas, Arapahoe and Adams counties. “When there is a mental health issue, people just don’t want to talk about it.”

To combat the stigma of mental illness, Tri-County launched a campaign in May called “Let’s Talk Colorado.”

Rather than just addressing mental illness, the campaign promotes mental health as a state of well-being and balance in people’s thoughts and behaviors, Boyd said. The goal is to make mental health a collective focus for all of Colorado so that people with mental health issues will seek treatment.

“People know there is care but they don’t seek it because they don’t want people to know that they are having a mental health issue,” Boyd said. “The level of stigmatizing language that we aren’t aware of is so deep.”

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