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#LookBeyond

#BESTIGMAFREE

What Is #LookBeyond

#LookBeyond is a campaign to reduce stigma and increase understanding, support and positive attitudes toward people throughout Kalamazoo County who are living with and/or are affected by: Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorders, and Developmental disabilities.

We’re asking all of Kalamazoo County to get involved. This includes: schools, municipalities, service providers, faith communities, public and private organizations, businesses and all individuals.

Did You Know...

 

1  OF 5

1 out of 5 Americans experience mental illness. In Kalamazoo County, that comes out to about 52,000 people (2016 population: 261,654).

Almost

8%

Almost 8 percent of the U.S. population over age 12 meets criteria for a substance use disorder. (Of those, only 10 percent received treatment.)

Roughly

15%

Roughly 15 percent of children in the United States — or about one in six — have a developmental disability (including ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorders).

Why do we need to #LookBeyond stigma now?

Mental health, substance use and developmental disability challenges have been increasing in the U.S. These challenges affect thousands of people in Kalamazoo County. They are all potentially subject to stigma, as well as their families and caregivers. Stigma has RIPPLE EFFECTS. For our community to thrive, we need to address it.

By reducing stigma, the entire community can benefit in areas like health, education and overall wellbeing. KCMHSAS is proud to have provided direct service to thousands of individuals for over 50 years in our community. With #LookBeyond, we hope to also address SYSTEMIC CHANGE that will improve the lives of the populations we serve – and the larger community as well.

How can I #BESTIGMAFREE?
All you have to do is remember “LET’S GO!”

L
Listen to people who live with mental health, substance use and/or developmental challenges, to gain understanding
E
Educate yourself about these challenges by using community resources (like taking Mental Health First Aid Training)
T
Treat every person as a valuable member of our community
S
Speak Up for fair and respectful treatment of all people
G
Get Others Involved with the #Look Beyond campaign
O
Optimize your own wellness

Take the pledge to #LookBeyond and #BESTIGMAFREE

Mia, Anna, Latrieva, Michael, Isaiah and Amy

Stories

Looking Beyond Stigma

Mia, Anna, Latrieva, Michael, Isaiah and Amy
Six people in Kalamazoo County share their experiences of stigma in our new video. Learn why they believe it’s time to #LookBeyond.

Read On
Mia, Anna, Latrieva, Michael, Isaiah and Amy

Stories

Looking Beyond Stigma

Mia, Anna, Latrieva, Michael, Isaiah and Amy
Six people in Kalamazoo County share their experiences of stigma in our new video. Learn why they believe it’s time to #LookBeyond.

Read On

News

Become an official Stigma-Free Zone: It's FREE!
Become an official Stigma-Free Zone: It's FREE!

Declare your space to be welcoming, positive and safe! Read On

Whooooooo are Opal & Oswald? Our new mascots!
Whooooooo are Opal & Oswald? Our new mascots!

They have the animal kingdom’s best “looking beyond” skills! Read On

WATCH: 6 lives affected by stigma in Kalamazoo County
WATCH: 6 lives affected by stigma in Kalamazoo County

Watch our new video to learn about stigma through the eyes of six Kalamazoo County residents who’ve experienced it. Read On

SEE ME: LOOKING BEYOND STIGMA exhibit draws hundreds
SEE ME: LOOKING BEYOND STIGMA exhibit draws hundreds

By powerfully depicting the impact of stigma, the exhibit helped our community understand better why we’re calling for everyone in Kalamazoo County to pledge to #LookBeyond and #BeStigmaFree. Read On