Respond to Microaggressions
Microaggressions are comments or behaviors that have implicit messages of hostility toward targeted groups. Common microaggressions about people living with mental illness include invalidating their experiences, assuming inferiority, shaming their condition, fearing them, or treating them like second class citizens. If you would like to learn more about microaggressions and how to handle them, please consult Kevin Nadal’s Guide to Responding to Microaggressions.
Learn Mental Health Communication Skills
Anyone can benefit from learning more about how to have empowering mental health communication and conflict resolution. The Dispute Resolution in Mental Health Initiative at the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center has developed free resources and takeaway tools you or your organization can use to develop these skills.
Request a Reasonable Accommodation
If you have a mental illness, you are entitled to ask an organization to change their policies or practices in order to help you access their location or their services. These reasonable accommodations can be adjustments to all sorts of things including schedules, methods of communication, and more. To learn more about requesting a reasonable accommodation, visit the Job Accommodation Network, which provides free, confidential technical assistance about job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Cope with Stigma Loss
Sometimes people experience interpersonal losses due to mental illness stigma. To learn more about these stigma losses, share the story of your stigma loss, or access resources to cope visit The Stigma Loss Project.
Pursue a Stigma Mediation
MH Safe is developing a directory of mediators who can help people who have experienced stigma pursue collaborative mediation. The goal is to educate the offending party and work with them to improve communication going forward. If you are interested in learning more about this forthcoming initiative, or to share your possible case, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Address Inappropriate Publications
MH Mediate has worked to get a variety of organizations to update their published articles and guidance in order to remove inadvertent stereotypes, stigma, or discrimination affecting people with mental illness. Visit the Update Inappropriate Publications page to learn more and tell us about yours.
File an Americans with Disabilities Act Complaint
The Department of Justice has a form you can submit online or by mail or fax. Full instructions of how to do so, as well as a hotline you can call for help, are available on their How to File an Americans with Disabilities Act Complaint website.