On April 21, 2021, the Aliso Viejo City Council approved a City pledge of support for Stigma Free OC, a countywide movement that aims to remove the stigma associated with mental illness and substance use disorders.
The Stigma Free OC movement was started by Orange County Health Care Agency (HCA) with two goals:
- Reducing stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse disorders; and
- Sharing resources with those needing treatment
Research indicates that when people are labeled by their condition, they begin to have feelings of shame, embarrassment, and hopelessness, and become reluctant to seek or accept help. As a result, people of all ages suffer in silence with untreated conditions. Ending stigma supports and helps people get the help that they need, without blame, judgement, or stereotyping.
Through StigmaFreeOC.com, people are able to pursue no-cost mental health training resources, hotlines, and other support services.
The City of Aliso Viejo encourages others to take the pledge to be stigma free at StigmaFreeOC.com.