End Stigma Now

Research shows that the most effective way to reduce stigma is to know someone with a lived experience of mental health challenges. Knowing someone with a lived experience is two to three times as effective as educational programs in terms of changing attitudes. Help us spread the word that mental illness is real and it’s treatable. Here are six ways you can help end the stigma of mental illness:

  1. Seek out people with lived experience. Listen to their story.
  2. Reinforce and support stories of resilience and recovery.
  3. Wear lime green to create curiosity. Be prepared to speak up.
  4. Consider a story you can tell about recovery.
  5. Share others’ stories. Visit our video library for stories of recovery.
  6. Bring the conversation into your communities: work, civic, faith, schools.

Safe Person Decal

Displaying the Safe Person Decal (pictured above) indicates your desire to be a safe person for others. In doing so, you promise to listen and support by observing the Safe Person Decal 7 Promises. Learn more, download the decal and watch the Safe Person Decal 7 Promises skits.

  1. Acknowledge that reaching out for support is a strength.
  2. Listen and react non-judgmentally.
  3. Respond in a calm and reassuring manner.
  4. Reflect back the feelings, strengths, ideas I hear when listening.
  5. Ask how I can be helpful and respond as I’m able.
  6. Do what I can to connect to other supports if asked.
  7. Maintain confidentiality and communicate if exceptions exist.

Turn Shame into Empowerment

Have a story to tell? Not sure what to say, to whom, and when? Thinking about sharing with someone for the first time or becoming an advocate for mental health?

Honest, Open, Proud (HOP): To Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Illness is a workbook for small group discussion or personal use. It helps you to look at the story you have been telling yourself, discern helpful and hurtful self-attitudes, and analyze the pros and cons of disclosing in different settings to different people. Lastly, it guides you to draft your own story into a format that discloses not only the pain of mental health challenges but also the internal and external resources you discovered and use to live your life in the way you choose.

Honest, Open, Proud comes in two versions: adult and high school age. Become a HOP facilitator! For more information and/or facilitator training dates, contact us.

Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination (WISE)

This is a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals formed to promote inclusion and support for all affected by mental illness. If you are located in the state of Wisconsin, we invite you to join WISE. Help expand stigma reduction efforts. Find out more information about WISE.

Your support could save the life of someone who was too afraid to speak up and seek help. Your tax deductible donation to Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation will help grow these stigma-reduction initiatives, and so much more!

Video Library & Resources

Access our complete video library by clicking on a heading below.

Stories of recovery

People describe their unique paths from illness to recovery and illuminate realistic hope for all.

Strategies for recovery

Learn about specific practices and experiences people have found to support their resilience.

Stigma Reduction in Schools

Real life experiences from youth, parents, and educators help us understand mental health challenges and form skills to support resilience.

  • Watch as youth and parents discuss specific mental health challenges, resilience, and the path of recovery.
  • See how to engage students in real classrooms with real challenges.
  • View brief videos with tips on how to navigate care for children with mental health challenges.

Stigma Reduction in the Workplace

Employees and employers describe effective workplace support while highlighting the benefits of hiring and retaining workers with recovery skills.

  • Workplace culture – Employers and employees describe environments that support mental well-being.
  • Overcoming challenges – Effective approaches for supervisors to take when faced with troubling behaviors.
  • Wisconsin Initiative for Stigma Elimination (WISE) advances action to increase inclusion, support and solidarity in the workplace.

Quote from a Mom

“In our culture, we’re embarrassed to say what’s going on with our kids. We don’t want to let other people know – even our own family. They’ll criticize you, or they’ll blame it on their hormones and say, ‘They’re going to outgrow it. Just let time pass.'”

After a while, I was at a point when I was like, no, that’s not going to happen. My son really needs help. So, when we did get help, I didn’t tell anyone. It was my son who told his cousin first, and the cousin was really supportive. Then, I felt like I could let the word out because he was ready to let people know. He didn’t care what people were going to say. That’s how we opened up. We had some negative, but we knew that one day others are going to go through this too, and maybe we can give them the resources to get help.”

– Maria, mother and advocate

Current Projects

Eliminating Stigma One Story at a Time