Reducing Mental Health Stigmas

1195 WordsApr 7, 20175 Pages
Reducing Mental Health Stigmas According to the National Alliance of Mental Health, 1 in 5 adults in the United States of America experience mental illness in a given year (NAMI, 2017). Out of those adults, not all will seek out mental health services. If there are services in the community being offered, why are the services not utilized more often by these individuals? There may be many barriers that prevent these individual to seek out services. One of these barriers may include being labeled; another barrier may be being treating differently because of the illness. To fully understand what a mental illness is one has to understand the definition of…show more content…
When a person is stigmatized, this may increase suffering which continues the cycle of individuals not receiving the proper care to live a normal life. By watching these movies, people become scared and are less likely to be seen interacting with someone with a mental illness. Fear leads to avoidance, e.g., employers do not want persons with mental illness nearby so they do not hire them (Coorigan, 2002). Since the majority of these people are not knowledgeable about symptoms of different mental illnesses, they become misinformed and develop negative attitudes towards a group of people that they have no personal experience. There are two different types of stigmas that effect individuals with a mental illness, public stigma and self-stigma. Both of these stigmas may create additional barriers that prevent these individuals to seek and follow through with treatment. Public stigma is created by the general population whereas self-stigma is internally created by the individual. According to Corrigan, self-stigma may either empower the individual to rise above what other are saying or if the individual has low self-esteem, may impede the treatment process. To help decrease negative stereotypes that are portrayed in the media and movies, providing education on mental health would benefit both persons with mental illness and the people who are not familiar with mental illness. These educational programs would raise mental health awareness by
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