When we were first called upon to manufacture “Stigma-free” signs for the Township of Saddle Brook, N.J., we were unaware of them. Quickly we learned that many counties and town across the United States were becoming “stigma-free.” This means that they have taken an initiative to help raise awareness of the disease of mental illness and also help create communities where residents with the disease may feel supported by those in the community and can seek treatment without fearing stigma.
They help raise awareness through educational classes, presentations, and other community events. These events cover everything from where to get help if you or someone you know is in need, to changing the way language is used to describe and interact with people who suffer from the disease. They allow people to feel supported, seek help, feel less isolated and less shame about that their disease.
The “stigma-free” signs are put up in communities to help provoke interest in the “stigma-free” movement. They also serve as a reminder to all that they can feel safe and supported in their community and do not need to feel shame or stigma about their own or their loved one's disease.