Health And Stereotypes Of Mental Health

Decent Essays

While mental health is a global issue with varying stereotypes and prejudice surrounding it, there seems to be a shared general opinion that our society has regarding the mentally ill. However, because being mentally ill generally means something different depending on who or where you may be asking, as some cultures view mental illness in completely different ways than others, the focus of this paper will be in regards to the shared general opinion and view that Americans have of the mentally ill, as well as the stereotypes, prejudice and the stigma that they associate with those who are suffering from mental health issues. In the United States, as Mooney states, “Mental health is defined as the successful performance of mental function, resulting …show more content…

For example, the majority of Americans often associate those who suffer from mental illnesses with negative attributes such as being violent or dangerous, with the potential of inflicting harm upon innocent citizens or bystanders. However, this idea is completely biased, ignorant and is based on fear and highly inaccurate information. In reality, the majority of people with mental health problems are more of a threat to themselves than to others, and these misleading stereotypes, prejudice, and stigmas tend to make the situation worse. This is because when you give a negative label to a group of people, they tend to become ashamed and embarrassed of their situation and therefore don’t attempt to receive help or the necessary treatment to solve it. The majority of prejudice, stereotypes, stigmas and negative labels can be blamed on the media, who often attempts to link mental health illnesses with negative characteristics and portray those that have mental illnesses as unstable, criminal, and/or unable to live full, meaningful lives. Part of the problem is that people fail to recognize that many people who have mental illnesses do so because of societal and environmental issues. These issues, along with how mental illness develops and how …show more content…

As Mooney states, “This perspective points to how failures in the health care system affect not only the well-being of individuals but also the health of other social institutions, such as the economy and the family.” (Mooney, 2015) Basically, this theory highlights the interconnectedness of society and how one portion can influence the other, which can be utilized to see how both environmental and societal factors affect the number of people that develop mental health issues. For example, as Mooney states, “Social and environmental influences that can trigger mental illness include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse; poverty and homelessness; job loss; divorce; the death of a loved one; devastation from a natural disaster such as a flood or earthquake; the onset of illness or disabling injury; and the trauma of war.” (Mooney,

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