“A stigma is a distinguishing mark, establishing a border between a stigmatized person and others attributing negative characteristics to this person.” (Baumann, 2007) There are many different factors that take part in the stigmatization of mental illnesses, however the greatest contributor is the social distance that is created within society between individuals with a mental illness and those without. There are two mind-sets that can increase a person’s willingness to socially distance themselves from the mentally ill. The first mindset is that mentally ill individuals are different and therefore should be separated. The second mindset is that mentally ill individuals are perceived as violent and this creates a need for separation with regards
Mental illness is a controversial topic in recent news. From Sandy Hook to the Aurora movie theatre shooting, the effects of mental illness have sparked fierce debate and negative stigma surrounding the issue. Mental illnesses, “patterns of thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that are deviant, distressful, and dysfunctional” (Myers 562), affect 1 in 4 people at some point in their lives ("Stigma and Discrimination"). However, only 59.6% of people with mental illness report receiving treatment, as they are often perceived as “dangerous, unpredictable, responsible for their illness, or generally incompetent” (Corrigan, Druss, and Perlick). As a result, an entire group of citizens is discriminated against for a condition beyond their control. With so much riding on the issue, a question needs to be addressed: to what extent does stigma surrounding mental illness affect the treatment of patients in healthcare and society? To explore the effects of stigma surrounding mental illness, it is essential to understand the issue through historical, sociocultural, economic, and scientific lenses.
To many a stigma is a disgraceful flaw, that of a negative presence. In mental health this stigma is overwhelming. Approximately 57.7 million Americans experience a mental health disorder in any given year. (National Alliance on Mental Illness) People in dire need of help are not seeking it. Mental illnesses are going undiagnosed. The mental health stigma is having a negative impact on the proper diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses.
This paper is an analysis of mental health and the stigma that is associated with mental illness. The reputation accompanying mental illness causes detrimental effects on those with a psychiatric disorder, such as discrimination, poor health outcomes and social suffering. This is partly due to a lack of public education on the matter, along with attributions of violence related to mental illness caused by news reports. A multi-faceted campaign to increase the public’s knowledge about mental health is critical to assuage the negative attachments affiliated with mental illness.
It is estimated that 43.5 million Americans, adults 18 or older, live with mental illness. This number represents 18.1% of all U.S. adults (National Institute of Mental Health, 2014). Stigma toward those who are seen as different have existed for as long as civilization itself, with the stigma for mental illness being one of the most prominent and long lasting that society has had to face throughout its ages (Arboleda-Florez & Stuart, 2012). Increased understanding and awareness for those individuals suffering from mental illness is necessary for us to overcome the impacts stigma has on our society.
The disparity in treatment has been attempted to be remedied over the eras. Bills and Acts put into place in the 20th and 21st centuries have seeked to improve care and reduce stigma around those with mental illness. This began in 1942, when Harry Truman signed the National Mental Health Act, which requested the formation of a National Institute of Mental Health. Shortly after this, in 1949, the National Institute of Mental Health was established (“National Institute of Mental Health”). During the company’s 60 year lifespan they have focused on research about mental illness, educating the public, and improving the lives of the mentally ill by working to pass laws. One law that seeks to reduce the stigma of mental illness is the Mental Healths Service Act of California. "California 's Historic Effort To Reduce The Stigma Of Mental Illness: The Mental Health Services Act" from the American Journal Of Public Health illustrates how the Act will make improvements. Families and individuals who have experienced stigma had a big role in the process, specifically with developing a 10 year plan, the California Strategic Plan on Reducing Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination. One component of the Act discussed is the work plan developed by California Mental Health Services Authority, which has three components: stigma and discrimination reduction, student mental health, and suicide prevention. Organizations such as the NIMH have made efforts resulting in the evolution of mental
Most people with mental health illness feels diminished, devalued, and fearful because of the prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviours that society held towards them. The stigma associated with mental health illness often marginalized and disenfranchises the affected individuals and families in the society, which means that they “may experience discrimination in areas of health care, employment, education, justice, and housing”(1). The feeling of fear to be discriminated against limited the affected individuals and families to seek help and access benefit, which leading to poverty and unhealthy coping strategies such as substance abuse.
There are still many societies that view people with mental health problems as threatening or unstable. These attitudes often cause stigma and discrimination towards people with mental health problems. Many people who make these assumptions about people with mental health problems are often uneducated. Social workers today educate and help families that may may be struggling with this disease. Mental health disorders affect different people and are more prone to exist in areas where help can be found or is not affordable. Mental health disorders are often frowned upon by people because they do not understand it. Many people live throughout their lives not getting the help they need because of stigma on this topic. As a society Mental health diseases should be identified as problem that can be fixed and not be an identification for the person it is affecting.
The majority of people that have a severe mental illness are object to challenges in double measure. From one point of view, they wrestle with the symptoms and disablement that result from the illness. From another point, they are tested by the stereotypes and preconceived ideas that stem from the misunderstandings about mental illness. As a culmination of both, people with a mental illness are stripped of the chances that define a quality life such as a good job, safe housing, adequate health care, and a connection with a varied group of people. Although research has gone a long way to understand the affect of the disease, it only recently has begun to explain the stigma of mental illness (Corrigan). The lives of people who are living with a mental illness are many times drastically adjusted by the symptoms of the illness and everyone’s response to them. While symptoms can normally be diminished by a number of actions, the intrinsic stigma and prejudice that comes with mental illness may continue on for a lifetime and can manifest themselves in a number of understated and non-understated ways. Normally, when one thinks of a stigma, they think of disgrace that is associated with a particular event, circumstance, or occasion. People with a mental illness are most often branded as an effect of their behavior, appearance, therapy, their economic status, and also the negative depictions in the media of the mental illnesses. People with a mental illness often have a “stereotype
Until recently, few health insurance plans provided coverage for mental health services to the same extent as physical health services, if they were covered at all. The reasons for the discrimination in health insurance vary, but mental illnesses historically have not been well understood by the public, and people have had a hard time understanding that mental illnesses are biologically based diseases that affect the mind and body just like any other disease that has solely physical manifestations. A stigma is said to occur when people view something in a negative way because of a distinguishing characteristic or trait that is thought to be, or is, a disadvantage. The stigma surrounding mental illness has led to direct and obvious discrimination and one of its results, and the focus of this paper, is the discrimination to the mentally ill and mentally infirm by not providing health insurance that adequately covers mental illness diagnosis and treatments. Despite the progress of mental health parity legislation, the passing of the ACA and the advances in mental health research that have revealed that mental illnesses are biologically based, a stigma still remains around individuals with mental illnesses, that has led to exemptions, road-blocking the goal of full parity. This paper demonstrateS that while advances in the availability of private insurance coverage for those with mental illnesses has improved, there are still loopholes that private insurance
Mental Illness, that name conjures up a vast array of frightening images in the minds of the general public and media; an unfair image that is stigmatizing for the sufferer. The stigma is also pervasive in the mental health field, where patients who receive treatment are sometimes treated unfairly by the practitioners, who are supposed to help them in the first place. This is what my paper will discuss, the effects of stigma and labeling on patients and their families. I have culled many sources from scholarly papers, that back up my claim. I will describe what I thought of about the articles and how they pertain to the main points I am trying to make.
The Affordable Care Act created a paradigm shift for public health in the US. Government in communities across the country have made significant progress in combating AIDS, preventing cancer, reducing tobacco use, and increasing vaccinations. However, one issue remains sorely overlooked, the state of mental health in the US. According to the National Institute of Mental Health 43.7 million Americans have a mental illness in any given year and only a third of those with a mental illness receive care. Although, the Affordable Care Act increased financial access to mental healthcare, many barriers still exist. Data from the Department of Health and Human Services shows that 55% of US counties lack a single mental health professional. Stigmas and attitudes towards mental health issues prevent people from pursuing help, as 71% of individuals in a Psychiatric Services study believed they could solve their mental health issues on their own. The American Journal of Psychiatry goes on to point out that all of these factors cost the US $193.2 billion in lost earnings per
Stigma can be expressed in various term, it can be a brand, labelling or identification. It is a differentiation of a person resulting to a boundary between “us” and “them” (Link and Phelan 2001). These affect consumers in a way they are discriminated and treated differently because they have mental illness. The effect of stigma can take away the rights of consumers who are suffering from mental illness causing social dilemmas (SANE Australia 2013). A survey shows 74% of consumers experience stigma from school, work, and social activities. Consumers had only one feedback, to reduce stigma so they can go with their life peacefully and engage in normal social activities without discrimination (SANE Australia 2006). It is
Mental health and its stigma are an important issue plaguing today’s society. Many do not understand or acknowledge the severity of mental illness. The stigma against mental