Accurate information usually reduces fear: when we turn a light on in a dark room after hearing a noise and see that there's nothing in the room to hurt us, we quickly calm down.
We've made some progress in the addiction field in lowering the stigma barriers to make addiction treatment more accessible to those who need it. We have a long way to go with mental illness, and this dialogue can only help.
Read Dr Koplewicz's article here: Why are People so Divided When It Comes to Children's Mental Health?
A great resource about all things related to mental illness, including an extensive grassroots effort to "bust" stigma at its roots, is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)