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Show your support: Safe Person Decals a no-cost way to stick up for stigma elimination

04/16/24 01:00:pm

A simple sticker sends a strong message: “I seek to listen & support.”

Available for free, the Safe Person Decals allow all who display them to show their commitment to others in need.

The stickers were developed through WISE, a Rogers-led coalition promoting stigma elimination and support for all impacted by mental illness. Rogers community learning and engagement team members distribute the decals.

“It really is about stigma reduction,” says Alison Wolf, community learning and engagement operation and development manager. “We know if we listen non-judgmentally, that people feel less stigmatized.”

The Safe Person giveaway includes a large and a small oval you can post, as well as a tear-off portion with “7 Promises.”

“The Safe Person 7 Promises” are designed as guidelines to be a safe, supportive person for those struggling with mental health and addiction challenges, which are found in detail on WISE’s website. The Safe Person 7 Promises are:

  1. Acknowledge that reaching out for support is a strength
  2. Listen and react non-judgmentally
  3. Respond in a calm and reassuring manner
  4. Reflect back the feelings, strength, ideas you hear when listening
  5. Ask how you can be helpful and respond as you’re able
  6. Do what you can to connect to other supports if asked
  7. Maintain confidentiality and communicate if exceptions exist

Alison says the first order of decals, supported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, came in 2017. Since then, she says Rogers, through WISE, has distributed about 50,000, to schools, organizations, and individuals. Orders have come from 20 states and almost every Wisconsin county. The decals are also available in Spanish.

“If a student sees the Safe Person Decal on a teacher’s or adult’s door, they know that they could go and talk to them and that person is someone safe,” Alison says. “I think that’s the most important thing. We have to open the door to conversation.”

Alison says she loves seeing the decals out in the community.

“It’s awesome. It’s really exciting,” she says. “We get a lot of comments that people really enjoy having them.”

Alison encourages people to display the decals and the Safe Person 7 Promises, saying Mental Health Awareness month in May is a great time to start.

She says the decals can go just about anywhere: a door, locker, refrigerator, bulletin board, window, or computer. Small versions of the sticker can fit on your phone or water bottle.

Those interested in ordering up to 25 decals for free can head to this website (eliminatestigma.org) or contact Alison at alison.wolf@rogersbh.org. They can be shipped to your home or office.

A Stigma 101 PowerPoint and other resources are also available on WISE’s website.

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