Mental Health Stigma And The Healthcare System

2576 words - 10 pages

The mental health stigma has become a prevalent issue in the world of medical care. It can prevent people from receiving proper medical care and the quality of care people may receive. Stigma is defined as members of groups who violate the norms established by the dominant or privileged group and, as such, are marked as deviant (Jr. and Kite). Stigma can also lead to discrimination. The way we can try and diminish the severity of the stigma is to create transparency and openness about mental illness. Seeing that people are not defined by their disorder and can be successful regardless of the diagnosis. That they are not defined by their diagnosis they just have and suffer with the disorder. Also promoting education about mental health issues can diminish the myths about these issues thus lessening the amount of stigma. I have seen instances on our own campus in which they could have promoted counseling and mental health among the student body. I think the staff body could have took a more proactive approach to mental health. Instead of waiting until after students committed suicide and trying to fix the problem they could actively be promoting it regardless of the instances on the university campus. There are two different types of stigma; public and self-stigma. These stigmas can have different effects on the individual. Everyone has mental health and raising awareness about it and eliminating the stigma can help the world learn how to discuss and change this problem.
The two different types of stigma have different effects on the attitude towards those with mental health issues. The public stigma can lead to discrimination and prejudice. The prejudice and discrimination that result from the public stigma can prevent those diagnosed with mental illness the ability to place themselves into a good job or a suitable place to live (Corrigan). There are many reasons why one may choose to discriminate against the mentally ill. It could also be possible that their bias is unconscious and they may be unable to change it as they do not even realize they are doing it. The public stigma can affect how the mentally ill are treated in the justice system (ibid). People fear those with mental illness and they may be locked in jail instead of receiving the necessary medical care (ibid). We hear fictional horror stories of people who escape from mental hospitals. The media and stories we tell enforces the idea of what we imagine a mentally ill person may act like. We enforce the stereotypes that all mentally ill patients are unstable and violent. The growing intolerance of offenders has led to harsher laws and is hampering effective treatment plans for offenders that are mentally ill (ibid). It has been proven by studies on the mentally ill, that the stigma of mental health also leads to them not receiving appropriate health care as they are perceived as too difficult to deal with (ibid). The self-stigma can lead to the avoidance to receive help as they don’t...

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