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United Against Mental Illness Stigma

Millions of Americans are affected by mental illness, yet many don’t seek support for fear of stigma. They are afraid of judgment, and they worry about appearing weak or incompetent. By eliminating the stigma against mental illness, we clear the path for those who need help.


According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI):

  • Only 46% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2020  

  • Only 51% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment in 2016  

  • The average delay between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years

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What does mental health stigma look like?


  • Telling someone who is experiencing depression to “snap out of it”

  • Assuming a person with a mental illness is dangerous

  • Not hiring a candidate because of their mental illness

  • Labeling an individual as their illness  (i.e. Instead of saying he’s schizophrenic, say he’s living with schizophrenia.)


The shame and embarrassment that grows from such stigma exacerbates mental illness.  However, treatment can greatly reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.  


Let’s work together to let everyone know it’s ok to not be ok.  It’s brave to ask for help.  Mental health is health.  We must prioritize it and take care of it.

Personal Stories

When we share our experiences and talk about our own mental health struggles, we reduce the stigma around mental illness. Read through these first-hand accounts of individuals actively striving to banish any stigma tied to prioritizing mental health.

Helping Hands

An honest first-hand account from a teen recounting an inpatient experience


A brave and personal poem offering a glimpse of what it feels like to live with anxiety.

Meditating on hillside

An honest account of balancing Obsessive Complusive Disorder and setting healthy boundaries.

Resources Against Mental Illness Stigma

CATCH: Community Action Together for Children's Health

CATCH aims to empower families to foster resilience and prioritize mental health and emotional wellness in their children through educational programming, access to resources, and peer support.  It’s based in Northbrook and welcomes everyone to take advantage of CATCH programs and resources.


The Balance Project

The Balance Project helps families and individuals access emotional wellness support by building mental health awareness through education and community programming. Based in Highland Park, it connects individuals to resources and treatment and works to eliminate financial barriers for all to find a better balance.



BStrong Together supports parents, children and youth, community members and others impacting the lives of Barrington area children in a shared goal of raising happy, healthy, resilient, and adaptable children capable of successfully navigating the world of today and the future.


Grit2: Growing Resiliency in Teens Together

Grit 2 is committed to providing Downers Grove area parents and teens an opportunity to find support, information, tools and resources to flourish in mind, body and spirit.

Mental Health First Aid

Mental Health First Aid is a course that teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The training gives you the skills you need to reach out and provide initial help and support to someone who may be developing a mental health or substance use problem or experiencing a crisis.

No Shame on U

No Shame on U is dedicated to eliminating the stigma associated with mental health conditions so the people who need the help will seek it, ensuring family members and friends know how to provide proper support, and saving lives. They achieve their mission through workshops, resources, teen programs, blogs, podcasts, and more.


Paws for Patrick

Paws for Patrick connects young people to Emotional Support Animals and Therapy Dogs to aid them as they live with mental illness. Created to honor the memory of Patrick Roemer, this national organization based in Chicago’s northern suburbs is working to raise awareness about the rising and alarming number of young people struggling with mental health.

Short Film

Help, a short film produced by Revealing Media Group explores the effects of depression on a boy as his life spirals downwards. Bullied and excluded by his peers, with his family falling apart, he must find help.

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