1. Be open and honest about your own issues. Just about everyone who knows me knows that I struggle with depression. I am open about my own 13 years of therapy.
2. When your children struggle with anxiety or depression, take them to a therapist. Let them know early on that this is a normal, accepted thing to do.
3. Talk positively about psychiatry and psychology. The words, "head shrinking" or even "shrink" are negative and derogatory. Stop using them.
4. Refuse to use the word, "crazy" to describe someone with mental illness. Correct your children or family members when they do. "That person struggles, for everyone struggles with something," is a good reply.
5. Be thankful for medical research that has provided us with antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, and psychotropics. Once human beings did not have the options we do today.
6. Watch the movies, "A Beautiful Mind," or "Lars and the Real Girl." They both tell deep, thought-provoking stories that give insight into mental disorders. "A Beautiful Mind" is especially well done at showing the distorted view of reality a person faces with a mental disorder or illness. The physician character in "Lars and the Real Girl" is beyond amazing.