Notes on Parenting

Insights for parenting babies, toddlers, teens, and young adults.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mental Illness Stigma



While we live in a society that is becoming increasingly aware of mental illness and how to interact with people who struggle with mental illness, there is still a profound stigma that exists surrounding it. As a society we understand that when an individual has a problem with their physical health they take the necessary steps to help with that problem whether it is going to the pharmacy or the doctor. However, when somebody has a problem with their mental health society seems to be less understanding of the logical steps that should be taken to help... such as going to a therapist or starting a treatment plan. There is still a lot of negative stigma surrounding mental illness in our society and it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Part of the issue comes from a lack of understanding about mental illness. Individuals who struggle with mental health are still completely capable of living a quality life. They simply need the right kind of support and help. The problem is that much of our society is still fearful of mental illness expecting that people with mental health issues are time bombs just waiting to explode. I found the following Youtube video that exemplifies this idea and shows one way in which mental illness is stigmatized in a way that physical illness is not. Check out this clip and let us know what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dw_I-G1smoo&feature=related

What are your thoughts about this video? How can we as parents help teach our children to not fear mental illness?

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