A social worker with the University of Nebraska says a better understanding of mental illness could lead to better treatment.
Social Worker Susan Feyen-Reay at the University of Nebraska – Omaha says the stigma associated with mental illness is far reaching, leading those suffering from mental illness to cover it up with excuses. Feyen-Reay says an employer might be understanding and could even help the employee find help, but the employee simply won’t take the risk.
“There’s a fear of disclosing that you’re struggling with mental health issues, because you don’t know what the response might be,” Feyen-Reay tells Nebraska Radio Network.
That struggle can keep sufferers from seeking help.
“The most common struggles I believe that people are having are they’re embarrassed, so that would be one issue, but also just understanding where to go and where to get resources and what that means and what it looks like,” Feyen-Reay says.
Feyen-Reay is a licensed independent clinical social worker at the UNO Grace Abbot School of Social Work.
Eliminating the stigma associated with mental illness will require society to develop and understanding of the scope of mental illness and the challenges mentally ill people face, according to Feyen-Reay who sees education as a key, teaching school children early on about mental illness and available treatments.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]