Dickinson Center Addresses Stigma During Mental Illness Week

Graphic that states: 10.7-10.13 Mental Illness Awareness Week. But you don’t look depressed #ThingsPeopleSaidAboutMyMentalIllness

In support of Mental Illness Awareness Week, October 7–13, 2018, Dickinson Center, Inc. is educating the public about fighting stigma surrounding mental illness. Despite the potential stigma in America, a person can recover from mental illness with compassion, empathy and understanding from other people.

One in five adults experiences mental illness problems every year, and 50% of chronic mental illness begins by age 14. Although many people today understand that mental illness is a medical condition, individuals and families affected by mental illness are still often subjected to stigma and discrimination.

  • A few tips for exploring mental health assistance for you or a loved one:           

  • Talk to your provider.  They might refer you to a specialist and make the first appointment.

  • Be ready to talk about health history and current experiences.

  • Ask a lot of questions and ask the mental health specialist to explain treatment options for a better understanding of a plan.  

  • Continue to be surrounded by family and friends.

  • Continue to do sports, exercise, walking or hobbies like art, reading and writing.

In addition, National Depression Screening Day will be held on Thursday, October 11. Around the world, organizations, such as Dickinson Center are sharing information about free and anonymous online questionnaires that can help individuals identify potential signs of depression. Learn more at http://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/hyho.

Overall, it’s important to change one’s own behavior to support someone affected by mental health conditions. Showing compassion and listening to friends, family or co-workers can help reduce barriers to people seeking support and treatment.

Learn more about Mental Illness Awareness Week at www.nami.org/miaw

February is Trauma Informed Care Month

What is Trauma-Informed Care?

  • An appreciation for the high prevalence of traumatic experience in persons who receive mental health, physical health, and substance abuse services.

  • A thorough understanding of the profound neurological, biological, psychological, and social effects of trauma and violence on the individual.

We need to presume the clients we serve have a history of traumatic stress and
exercise “universal precautions” by creating systems of care that are trauma-informed.
(Hodas, 2005)

What is trauma?

Trauma is the experience of violence and victimization including sexual abuse,
physical abuse, severe neglect, loss, domestic violence, and/or the witnessing of
violence, terrorism or disasters. ~ (NASMHPD, 2006)

Dickinson Center, Inc. embraces the trauma-informed care model.
Trauma-Informed Care is all about “changing the culture of an organization.”


Principles of a Trauma-Informed Care Organization:

  • Secure environment with supportive care

  • Consumer voice, choice, and advocacy

  • Calm

  • Healing

  • Safe

  • Hopeful

  • Honest

  • Cultural competence

  • Trusting relationships

  • System-wide understanding of trauma prevalance, impact, and trauma-informed care

  • Recovery, consumer-driven and trauma-specific services