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How do I reduce stigma around mental health? And how do I encourage someone to seek help?

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Psychologists Cameron Staley and Jennifer Miesch discuss stigma around mental health issues, how to talk with someone about mental health concerns, and how to encourage someone to seek help.

The way that we talk about mental health matters and can contribute to or reduce stigma. At least 50% of people in the US will experience a mental health concern at some point in their lives, so it’s important to know how to talk about this and how to get help. The more we talk openly and supportively about mental health, the more likely people are to get the support they need.

If someone talks with you about their mental health concerns, you can validate their concerns, thank them for sharing, and help get them connected to a mental or medical health professional, crisis line, or crisis center, depending on their need. And sometimes folks just need a kind and compassionate person to talk to, even if it’s not a professional.

If you are having your own struggles or are supporting someone else, please take care of yourself and get the support you need as well.

The information provided in this conversation is educational in nature and not intended to replace professional mental health services. The information should not be used as psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment of a mental health problem. Please be aware, the content of this podcast could be potentially upsetting at times as conversations address sensitive topics such as trauma, substance use, and suicide.

If you are having thoughts of suicide or self harm, please talk with a mental health or health professional. Call or text the suicide prevention lifeline at 988, or visit a local crisis center. If you have immediate life threatening concern for yourself or someone else, call 911 or go to your closest hospital emergency room.

Some additional crisis lines:

Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988 then press 1, or text 838255,

The Trevor Project, for LGBTQ folks: 1-866-488-7386, or text 678678,

Trans Lifeline’s Peer Support Hotline: 1-877-565-8860,

Mental health services are free for currently enrolled ISU students at Counseling & Testing Service. Appointments are free for students at the ISU Health Center as well. To learn more about counseling services for currently enrolled ISU students or general mental health resources, visit the ISU’s Counseling and Testing Service website: