Stigma Against Individuals with Mental Illness

2913 Words12 Pages
One big issue in the world right now is stigma against individuals with mental illness. One may ask, “What is stigma?” “Stigma” is one of those words one hears a lot, but if one was asked to define it, one would know where to start. In fact, the word “stigma” is in the top 10% of look ups on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary's website. According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of stigma is “a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.” The first known use of the word “stigma” was circa 1593. “Stigma” is derived from the Latin word “stigmat”, which means a mark or brand (Merriam-Webster, Incorporated). Types of stigma include prejudice, discrimination, cues, and stereotypes. Now, one…show more content…
In addition, stigma against mental illness is happening in our schools. Bullying and harassment for mental illnesses and for common practices done by those with mental disorders, such as self harm, happen everyday, in person and online. In Lakeland, Florida, two girls were arrested for bullying and cyberbullying a girl named Rebecca Sedwick to her death by suicide. The girls were charged with aggravated stalking, which is a third-degree felony. The girls, ages twelve and fourteen at the time, bullied her at school. When Sedwick switched schools because of the bullying, the girls continued to bullying her online. The two girls sent Sedwick messages like “go drink bleach”, “go kill yourself”, and “nobody likes you”. Sedwick was additionally cutting her arms to “relieve stress” from the bullying. The two girls supposedly knew Sedwick was self-harming herself. After Sedwick committed suicide by jumping off a cement factory tower, one of the girls posted on a social networking site called Facebook. She posted “Yes ik I bulllied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDAF.” Only when she was arrested did she claim her Facebook was hacked. When police looked at Sedwick's computer, search queries like “how to get blades out of razors” and “how many over-the-counter drugs do you take to die” showed up (Stanglin). If this case is not an
Open Document