Living with Mental Illness in the 21st Century
by Marie Corbin, RN, Exec. Director, PHOSBC
Breaking the Stigma. The Movement. Our Why.
Daily we hear more horror stories of mass shootings, suicides, intolerance, racial inequality, misunderstandings and trending depression rates due to mostly manmade social pressures (e.g) social media, that demands that you need to at least act successful, perfect etc... (especially for our youth).
So how do we navigate this new trending social issue that (I call it a social epidemic) that doesn't seemed to be turning around anytime soon?
What is Stigma as it relates to Mental Illness?
Well to paraphrase according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine (NCBI) it is the overall general public perception of those who suffer with mental health conditions which is usually met with negative ideations and misinformation about medical conditions as it relates to the neurological system.
According to (NCBI) article there are two types of stigmas, Public Stigma and Self Stigma. Within those two types there have been identified (3) components stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. "Stereotypes are considered "social" because they represent collectively agreed upon notions of groups of persons. They are "efficient" because people can quickly generate impressions and expectations of individuals who belong to a stereotyped group" (Corrigan et al (2002).
How can we break public and self stigmas?
Becoming more inform is strategy number one, so I want to direct you to this wonderful article @ www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1489832 (Click)
Having more community involvement, workshops, trainings and other collaborative efforts is crucial in order to help break social stigmas.
At Project Heal of SBC, we work tirelessly to promote awareness to this important crisis.
Thru increase personal, State and Government levels and an open mind, and willingness to learn from each other, this movement is finally starting to take off all over the world. Our goals are to continue to educate, inform and advocate for better mental health empowerment for all including mental health literacy for society as a whole, this i believe is the key to propelling this movement forward.
Lastly, protest, educate and contact (Corrigan et al (2002) so if each one, teaches one, we can work together to close the stigma gap.
Please see this article in its entirety to get a evidence based idea of how we can break the stigma collaboratively.
Corrigan, P. W., & Watson, A. C. (2002). Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 1(1), 16–20.