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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

Donna's Message

Stories

Looking Beyond Stigma

Donna's Message
A short and powerful statement from a visitor who stopped by our #LookBeyond table at the Recovery Fair in September.

Read Donna's 's Story
Donna's Message

Stories

Looking Beyond Stigma

Donna's Message
A short and powerful statement from a visitor who stopped by our #LookBeyond table at the Recovery Fair in September.

Read Donna's 's Story

News

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

TEARING DOWN THE WALL
TEARING DOWN THE WALL

Michael Parker is a member of the Social Marketing Advisory Committee that provides input on the #LookBeyond campaign. He also has volunteered to appear in many #LookBeyond marketing materials, including a billboard and an upcoming video. Read On

IN THEIR OWN WORDS: What people who experience stigma want you to know
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: What people who experience stigma want you to know

The #LookBeyond campaign is shaped entirely by the personal stories of people who’ve experienced stigma. What they shared in focus groups during the planning stages was so raw, so honest and so compelling that their words became the heart of the campaign. Read On