Overcoming The Stigma Of Mental Health

There is often a stigma against mental illness that prevents people from seeking treatment and Memorial Health is working on alleviating that stigma.  According to two behavioral health professionals the stigma usually effects men, minorities, and older adults. Some mental health issues include depression and anxiety disorders, panic disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Post traumatic stress disorder. Cody Spponmore, a behavioral health care coordinator with memorial Behavioral Health says that men often don’t seek help for mental health, because they have been conditioned to believe asking for help is not masculine behavior. 


Minorities can face inequities in the health care system encountering discrimination and language barriers in treatment settings, and older adults are even more reluctant to deal with mental health professionals due to being a generational issue. Mental Health Professionals encourage individuals who are dealing with mental health issues to reach out to someone.  


Memorial Health System’s Behavioral Health has a phone number that you can reach out for help 217-525-1064. There are also many easily accessible options for those taking that first step.  Telehealth allows you to meet with a counselor in the safe environment of your home. “The Living Room” provides an alternative to hospital emergency rooms for adults experiencing psychiatric emergencies.  If you are over 18, you can receive free support from peer and mental health professionals and get linked with a  peer counselor upon arrival.  Hours are 12PM-8PM M-F at 710 N. 8th Street in Springfield.


Memorial Behavioral Health’s Emotional Support Line, a free service, is available from 8 AM to 8 PM M-F at 588-6609. For more information, visit https://memorial.health/medical-services/behavioral-health/.