Shattering Stereotypes: Celebrating Mental Health Diversity on International Day for Disabilities
As the world observes the International Day for Disabilities, we at Wundrsight extend our understanding and support to encompass mental health disabilities. While physical disabilities are more readily recognized, mental health conditions often linger in the shadows of misconception and stigma.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1 in 4 individuals globally will experience a mental health condition at some point in their lives. These conditions encompass a spectrum of disorders – including anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and various others, impacting thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
It is necessary that we debunk a lot of myths surrounding mental health disabilities:
“It is just a phase” This is a common one, where we believe mental health conditions are very transient, and fail to recognise its legitimacy and longevity of impact on the individual suffering from it.
“You can just snap out of it” Recovery from mental health disabilities requires a multifaceted approach involving medication, therapy, and prolonged social support.
“It’s a sign of weakness” Underlying disabilities are valuable skills and perspectives which potentially have untapped potential. We need to be more considerate and aware of providing accommodations which bring out the best in each individual.
On this International Day for Disabilities, let's embrace a more inclusive narrative:
Foster understanding and empathy
Accessibility to mental health resources (image can include therapy, peer support network, remote working flexibility etc.)
Promoting inclusivity in communities
Encourage open conversations
This International Day for Disabilities, let's pledge to be advocates for inclusivity, empathy, and understanding towards all forms of disabilities, including those related to mental health.
Checklist: Is my mental health problem a disability?
You can ask yourself these questions:
Do I have a mental health problem?
Is it long-term? This means it has lasted more than 12 months or is likely to do so.
Does it have a more than a minor adverse effect on my day-to-day living? Or would it do this if I didn't have my treatment or medication?