In behavioral health, peers offer their unique lived experience with mental health conditions to provide support focused on advocacy, education, mentoring, and motivation. Through shared understanding, respect, and mutual empowerment, peer support workers help people engage and remain engaged in the recovery process; therefore reducing the likelihood of relapse. Peer support services can effectively extend the reach of treatment beyond the clinical setting into the everyday environment of those seeking a successful, sustainable recovery process. Peer support statistically improves engagement and satisfaction with mental health services and prevents the need for crisis-based interventions like hospitalizations.

what is recovery language?

Recovery language is rooted in respect and empowerment. It's about trying to see things from another's perspective, and discovering truths about oneself and one's experiences.

what are "i" statements?

They enable one to be the author of their own experience, as well as help one create a sense of vulnerability and openness.



what is stigma?

Stigma is a negative belief about a group of people. Stigma reflects the attitudes and beliefs that lead to discrimination. The use of stigmatizing language can be a way of distancing ourselves from things we don't understand, or don't want to understand.

MHASF addresses three kinds of stigma: public, structural, and self.

Public stigma involves the general misconceptions society holds about mental health challenges.

An example of these misconceptions include:

  • we're violent and dangerous.
  • we can't work or contribute to our communities.
  • we can't be stable partners or reliable parents.

Structural stigma happens when public stigma gets worked into systems. When that happens, power can be leveraged against people with mental health challenges who may be in vulnerable life circumstances. SOLVE speaks directly to groups who hold the power to affect the lives of people with mental health challenges, including:

  • employers
  • landlords
  • law enforcement
  • medical providers
  • public policy makers
  • educators
  • the media
  • family
  • church

Self stigma comes from the messages we hear in our lives that tell us we ought to feel about who we are, and ashamed that we've experienced mental health challenges. Self stigma can be the final barrier to recovery for many of us who live with mental health challenges, even after progress with public and structural stigma has been made.

how does mhasf fight stigma?


SOLVE provides peer-to-peer presentations, ongoing trainings, and peer support to reduce stigma.

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YES is a speakers bureau training series for young adults to develop skills as mental health speakers.

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