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Eradicating Social Factors Associated With Mental Illness

1291 words - 6 pages

Mental illness is seriously misunderstood in society due to institutions that govern us. Social forces such as economics, environment, media, and family all have an influential impact on mental illness as they are the main factors as to how individuals are socialized growing up. Individuals with a mental disorder, most commonly depressive or substance abuse disorder, commit most suicides (more than 90 percent) in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health 2008). These social forces cloud our thoughts, produce judgmental viewpoints, and ultimately generate obstacles for treatment. Our society can improve this situation by changing how mental illness is portrayed in the media and ...view middle of the document...

"Real Men, Real Depression" is a public campaign and education strategy that has public service announcements, radio and TV. Successful anti-stigma awareness will erase negative labels of the mentally ill, and will also show that mental illness is misunderstood and the ill have their place in society. The lack of education pertaining to mental illness is one of the driving forces for all mental illness misconceptions. Even in the educational systems there are plans being implemented to eradicate stigmas.
"Breaking the Silence" is an educational curriculum for all levels up until college, it uses posters, board games, and true stories to unmask myths about mental illnesses and discourages kids from using terms like “psycho”. Successful anti-stigma campaigns focus on erasing negative labels of people with mental disorders, and they also emphasize positive achievements and success of individuals with mental disorders. Furthermore, family and societal expectations are also some of the key elements to preventing mental illness as they play a big role in gender roles.

Men are also socialized as kids from family and society to be strong, dominant, and not to show weakness and express emotion as it would bring on a severe stigma of being "unmanly". This boy code enables a barrier for them to seek out treatment and perpetuates the illness they are suffering from which in turn, will make the disorder more detrimental to the individuals health. Minimizing these expectations will alter the label that the ill are "different". Being different causes depression which is one of the most diagnosed illness, it brings on suicide, drug abuse, and can leave the individual apathetic is most aspects of their lives.
In 2005 Gruttadaro stated that untreated mental illness can lead to poor educational achievement, lost productivity, unsuccessful relationships, significant distress, violence and abuse, incarceration, un-employment, homelessness, and poverty. Because of this, half of students identified as having emotional disturbances drop out of high school. Effective interventions will help individuals to understand that mental illnesses are not personality faults, but they are real disorders that react to certain treatments, just like specific health problems respond to different health treatments. Parity insurance will aid in mental health treatment along with this new health reform bill.
Economics and social status is associated with which type of insurance a person is qualified for. Society is so flawed sometimes that people even stigmatize and create negative labels for people that need means-tested programs like government funded insurance. Stereotypes like “stupid”, “lazy” and “uneducated” all formalize barriers for garnering government funded insurance.
Regardless of this, people need insurance to obtain mental treatment; if it goes untreated it can lead to numerous issues. Thus, improving admittance to mental treatment would be to first, hire more...

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