When an individual is feeling sick physically, it is more likely that they will visit the nearest hospital or doctor. Many people in today’s society, however, are oblivious towards mental health checkups. People do not realize that as much as the body needs help, the mind also needs proper care. Individuals may say that it is because they do not have access to care. Although this may be true, however, studies show that the amount of people who don’t receive the proper psychological health care when it is readily available for them can fit two major league baseball stadiums. (MIIA). One of the many reasons people do not seek help is because of the stigma that has been attached when it comes to mental health. Mental health is perceived as a negative and shameful thing to have. Stigma deters people from getting the help they need and is an issue in society that needs to be resolved. By analyzing the statistics of how many people actually felt stigmatized about their mental health, the harmful outcomes mental health can have if not treated such as on physical health, and the possibility of positive outcomes being produced if people raised awareness, it is clear that the stigma attached to mental health is a rising issue and needs to be addressed openly and become normalized.
Society needs to break the stigma against mental health care due to the statistics of how many people are classified as having a mental health problem but never received assistance. In a case study, data has shown that half of the people being tested had self-stigma. (Bohan 8). Self-stigma occurs when people internalize these public attitudes of discrimination and suffer numerous negative consequences as a result. (Bohan 8). People feel that if they are described as schizophrenia or have bipolar disease, they are criticized and often labeled in a negative manner, such as being crazy. This is showing us that as a society, people are feeling discriminated against because of their psychological issues beyond their control. Because of the self-stigma, they have ignored seeking treatment that aids their problem. This is overall in issue in society that needs to be fixed. People are not getting the help that is needed for them which can lead to further issues regarding their mental health problem.
Stigma against mental health is a problem and needs to be normalized because not having the mental health care one needs can also affect your physical health. Amongst these include mobility, diseases, and even transmitted diseases (Prince et.al 860). For example, when one has a condition such as anxiety or depression, the more vulnerable they will be for drugs or cigarettes compared to someone who has no mental health problems. Depression has been linked to 67% increased risk of death from heart disease and 50% linked to death from cancer. (Mental Health Foundation). This shows that not getting the proper treatment increases your risk of harming your physical health. Because of the shameful and discriminating connotations we’ve put on mental health, the people who do not want to get help or not know about it are increasing their risk of not only suffering from psychological health but also physical health. This is portraying that because of the stigma with mental health, it is affecting people in a negative way.
Studies also show that the people who suffer from mental health issues are more likely to be arrested and they increase the number of crimes being committed. (Corrigan 616). Stigma has a great influence in the “interface between mental illness and the criminal justice system”.(Corrigan 616). Many of the times, police respond to a mental health crisis with putting them in jail rather than getting them to a psychiatrist or cared for intervention. For example, many inmates who were jailed due to drug abuse were linked with some kind of mental health problem. (SAMHSA). Instead of getting them some kind of help, the police settled in on sending them right to jail. It is stated that people who suffer from mental illnesses in jail get no help and are more likely to recommit the crime. The stigma attached to mental health is causing not only people getting arrested for traits they are beyond in control of and not getting the help they properly need, but also the statistics for our growing inmates that suffer severe mental illnesses and health problems are increasing. (Corrigan 616). This is because when someone has a mental health crisis such as drug abuse; police and society do not question whether it may be a mental illness and need help but send them to jail and only jail. This is validating the very fact that mental health stigma is a problem in society today and immediate action is necessary to be taken.
When people hide mental health and think of it as a terrible and shameful thing, it can also cause problems that hinder the emotional and physical growth of human beings. For example, lack of proper mental health care can prolong emotional well-being, social development, and “leaves young people unable to project their best as a functioning member of society”. (McEwan and Wadell) Studies show that because of the lack of social development these mental health issues have caused, children do not develop the necessary skills for employment and are 70% more likely to drop out of school and become homeless. (NAMI). This portrays that when the children do not get the help they need because mental health has been framed negatively, it increases the children to not develop. We as a society are hindering the growth of future generations because of the stigma. There is a possibility that these individuals can get some kind of help for their problems and decrease the possibility of them dropping out and becoming homeless, but stigma has stopped the possibility of children getting help. This is overall showing that mental health should not be stigmatized as an embarrassing issue to have and it should be okay and normal to go in and seek care.
The stigma against mental health can possibly be resolved by raising awareness. When more and more awareness is raised it can let people know that having a mental health problem is okay and it is acceptable to get treatment. A government funded study stated a school in Canada had implemented programs that help promote anti-stigma. In the study, they surveyed children about questions on schizophrenia and how they felt regarding it. After a couple of weeks, educational campaigns and lessons were provided regarding mental health issues. Overall, they have concluded that mental health awareness treatments “have received positive outcomes where a growing commitment of promoting mental health and wellbeing is evident”. (Schater et. al). When more and more people are aware of mental health and people do not see it as a shameful thing, there is a possibility we can help solve the problem with stigma. Raising awareness does not only include large campaigns, but it also can start with any individual. When a person tells another person, that person has the ability to tell others and so forth. By doing this, people will know more and become educated and not think negatively on this matter. This is raising awareness and can lead to mental health being normalized and being perfectly acceptable to go and seek help for it.
Mental health stigma is an issue in society. It needs to be normalized and talked about more frequently due to the statistics of how many people actually feel stigmatized about their mental health, the harmful outcomes if not treated can have, and by looking at the possible solution to mental health stigma by implementing awareness campaigns. Mental health stigma deters people from seeking the help they need and increases many more issues. Although the human body is needed of assistance, the mind is just as important.
1.) Brohan, Elaine, Slade Mike, et al. “Experiences of mental illness stigma, prejudice and discrimination: a review of measures”. BMC Health Services Research. 2010. 10:80. pp. 1-11. https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1472-6963-10-80. Accessed June 17th 2018.
The article that I have chosen shows real life data took that shows how many people felt stigmatized in mental health. Perceived stigma was most frequently assessed in 79% of studies, followed by experienced stigma in 46% of studies and self-stigma in 33% of studies. I will use this in my paper to provide information and statistics of how many people felt stigma against mental illness, overall contributing to my prompt of my paper of the stigma against mental health is an uprising issue in our society. The authors who wrote it I believe are credible authors due to her being a chartered Psychologist, and registered Health Psychologist, with 14 year of research experience in both academic health services research.
2.) Corrigan, Peter. “How Stigma Interferes With Mental Health Care”. University of Chicago 2004 pp. 614-622. PDF file. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/37d0/f005c8befd4f77041753bb743620ca4bf528.pdf
This article regarding mental health stigma states that research suggests there is a nonspecific label effect, implying that people labeled mentally ill, regardless of the specific psychiatric diagnosis or level of disability, are stigmatized more severely than those with other health conditions. It then describes the issues that arose from mental health stigma and studies that show that the people who need the help will not get the proper help they need. I will be using this source as it can help me back up the issue of how stigma regarding mental health is an issue that needs to be resolved. I can use the information it has provided with the issues that happened such as Criminal Justice System because of the stigmatization of mental health. The author who wrote this I believe is credible due to having a PHD in Psychology and is currently a Psychology professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He has written more than 400 peer-reviewed articles, is editor emeritus of the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation.
3.) McEwan, Kimberley, Charlotte Waddell, and Jayne Barker. “Bringing Children’s Mental Health ‘out of the Shadows.’” CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association Journal 176.4 (2007): 471–472. PMC. Web. 24 June 2018.
The article I have chosen is talking about how mental health is affecting young people’s physical development. It goes into depth about how mental health affects a child from developing as it should. I will use this source as a way to back up the possibility of what mental health can cause and if the treatment was given, we can possibly limit the issue affecting children with mental health. The authors are all credible due to them having almost 25 years of experience in the field of mental health and the article was peer reviewed.
4.) MIIA. “Mental Health Facts, Stats, and Data” (September 17 2015). Accessed June 4 2018 http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/issues/state-mental-health-america
The article I have chosen is stating the statistics and facts about mental health in America. It is showing a bunch of different data that is related with mental health topics and statistics of how many people have it, do not receive care, ect. I will use this to help prove my point on how many people actually have access to mental health care but do not go. The author and data shown on this article is credible due to the organization being a mental health advocacy and government funded.
5.) Prince, Martin, et. al. “No Health Without Mental Health”. Global Mental Health. 2007. DOI:10.1016/S0140- 6736(07)61238-0. pp. 859-877.
This scholarly journal is simply stating that not having the proper mental health care can also affect your psychical health such as mobility, diseases, and even risk the chance of higher sexually transmitted diseases. It simply shows us how mental illness can affect each physical health. It also shows the statistics that correspond with each physical health and how many people actually have the conditions along with mental health issues. As well as my other resources, I can use the data of how people who have mental health illnesses and don’t receive the proper care are more likely to have physical problems. This overall show that we need to raise awareness for mental health and have it not be stigmatized. This journal is a credible source because it was written by PHD doctors who are currently in the field of teaching Mental Health Psychology at several universities.
6.) Ruud, Torleif et al. “Satisfaction with Primary Care and Mental Health Care among Individuals with Severe Mental Illness in a Rural Area: A Seven-Year Follow-up Study of a Clinical cohort.” International Journal of Mental Health Systems 10 (2016): 33. PMC. Web. 18 June 2018.
The article is 7-year study where they investigate clinical course and satisfaction with services among individuals with severe mental illness who received community mental health services in a rural area. In the study, they took a sample of patients with severe mental health illnesses who received no care. During the course of this 7-year study, they had gotten each participant to visit one or more care centers. The results showed significant improvement of psychiatric problems and functioning for several subscales. The people who had usually had received some kind of severe dangerous episodes with their mental health issue had only received one. This can help my paper to say if and when we start raising awareness and not letting mental health be shunned, we can get people to get the help they need and by the statistics from this paper we can see how greatly it can help. All of the authors that have wrote in this peer reviewed journal are all professional doctors that work as a psychiatrist or a psychology relating with mental health issues.
7.) SAMSA. (2017). “Criminal and Juvenile Justice” https://www.samhsa.gov/criminal-juvenile justice
The article I have here is talking about the crime rates that have been linked to mental health. The article also then talks about the statistics of how many people have mental health issues and even a number of mental health crisis that led them to jail. I will use this in my article to prove that even the police, will not even consider mental health care but send them right to jail. This is because mental health is not normalized, which is why my argument is that we must detach the stigma against mental health. This article is reliable due to it being funded by the government and being an American Mental Health Organization.
8.) Schachter, Howard M et al. “Effects of School-Based Interventions on Mental Health Stigmatization: A Systematic Review.” Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health 2 (2008): 18. PMC. Web. 18 June 2018.
The article I have chosen is stating how the implanting of how eleven countries that include Canada and the UK as of right now are taking mental health care seriously and is working with young people in school-based programs. They are doing programs that help promote anti-stigma. It provides a graph that has a survey of questions regarding different mental health problems and schizophrenia compared to after they run the campaign. Overall, they have concluded that mental health awareness programs at school have received positive outcomes where a growing commitment of promoting mental health and wellbeing is evident. I will use this as one of my sources to back up my solution of what the benefits can be if we lose the stigma attached to mental health issues. This is a credible source due to it being written by several famous American social psychologists who have been studying for over 10 years.