Welcome to the blog for Free Your Mind mental health anti-stigma campaign

This is the blog for the Free Your Mind campaign which aims to battle stigma towards mental illness through the use of music, art, film, and culture.
The blog consists of informative and, hopefully, entertaining articles/posts.
Enjoy! :-)

Monday, 28 February 2011

Discussing Mental Illness on Internet Forums

Posting on internet forums can be an enjoyable past-time and it is one in which I engage in everyday more or less. But what about when the discussion turns towards mental illness?

Unfortunately, as everyone knows, internet forums are plagued with people posting ignorant and, sometimes, bigoted views. As I stick to the more friendlier forums I manage to avoid the worst of it. But I have found that mental illness is one subject guaranteed to cause "controversy" or produce, not necessarily discriminatory views, but views that still show a large degree of ignorance.

Sometimes these sort of comments on a forum can really upset some posters, turning the discussion into a flame-war. Other times these comments are ignored or the other posters fail to see the ignorance within the comment.

Personally, I'm never going to be reduced to flaming anyone. But at the same time I will speak up if someone has posted something I know not to be quite right.

I don't think subjects such as mental illness should be avoided as topics of discussion on internet forums. In fact, quite the opposite, discussing these subjects and enlightening those who don't know as much about this subject is a highly positive and healthy activity. However, flaming someone who doesn't agree with you (no matter how ignorant they are being) is not the way forward.

It's not right for mental illness to be a taboo subject. Discussion on mental health and the issues surrounding it are healthy. Just be prepared for a few small-minded people.


  1. I whole heartedly endorse forums that allow people who are looking for support, as well as those offering it, an opportunity to connect. Unfortunately, it is true that they also can attract the sort of contributor that seeks to flame others; the most cowardly form of bullying. It's advisable to lean towards sites that are monitored for such activity. I support freedom of speech as a privilege for responsible and civil behavior.

    Differing opinions discussed in a professional manner is commendable. Debate, if used properly helps to raise awareness to an issue, settling arguments and bringing those with opposing views a step closer to agreement.

    Mental illness is a sensitive subject. One's experiences should be respected and validated no matter how "different" they may seem. We all have a lot that we can learn from each other's journeys and perspectives.

    If you encounter a flamer, remember - they are just as troubled (if not more so) and usually quite ignorant. They seek attention through stirring up and irrating others. Responding to them plays right into their hand. These are not people looking to learn, for they have already made up their minds. Use the block button or move onto a different site. Engaging with toxic people is counterproductive for anyone. Teach and reach out to those with an eager, open mind. That's where true change begins.

  2. What a great insight. People should realize that these mental illnesses do not occur because you've failed or you don't have the will power or courage to do something big. They are legitimate illnesses which can be treated by taking specific medications. Thanks... <3

  3. Mental health involves finding a balance in all these parts of your life. Feelings of stress, worry, or sadness are natural but these emotions can harm our mental health as and psychical health.