The Stigma Of Children With Mental Illness

1608 Words7 Pages
Historically, western society has segregated the mentally ill in hospitals and institutions, resulting in society’s negative association with mental illness. This stigma creates a negative feedback loop in how society views people with psychiatric disabilities. Media portrays people with mental illness as scary, bad, dangerous, unpredictable, and un-educated. These views cause people to shy away and fear the mentally ill. This stigma also affects a person’s willingness to seek help when they are experiencing a mental illness. Some cultures, such as Hispanic Catholics, may not recognize mental illness as a health problem, but instead see it as a religious issue, further reducing the chances of a person seeking proper medical care. There is a double stigma among multiple demographics in western culture. Elderly, developmentally disabled, and LGBT populations already experience stigma on a regular basis. When these people are also experiencing mental illness, they are stigmatized even further and are no longer able to relate with their community. This dual stigma can lead to further segregation and loneliness in a population that is already segregated from society. Recently, consumers have started advocating for themselves and their needs, resulting in a movement for better services for people experiencing mental illness. Emerging self-help and peer support groups have assisted in educating society on the needs of people experiencing mental illness. There has also
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