• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Mental Health and Stigma

Extracts from this document...


This assignment will discuss the stigma that is attached to having a mental illness, it will detail why this is an issue, what is being done to fight stigma, and what model of mental health can better help us to understand this issue. Having and living with mental illness each and every day can be extremely traumatic for the sufferer, this without having to face the stigma they often do. Stigma is "a mark or sign of disgrace or discredit" as defined by the Oxford Handy Dictionary. Stigma causes people to feel uncomfortable around an issue, or can also cause people to mock the issue in order to make it less threatening to them. People who feel uncomfortable will often refuse to talk about mental illness therefore causing a silence around the subject. People usually tend to attach stigma to others that are different from them. Or often, due to mistaken beliefs, the mentally ill are thought to be dangerous. The stigma attached to mental illness is the main obstacle to better mental health care and better quality of life for people who have the illness, for their families, for their communities and for health service staff that deal with psychiatric disorders. For people with mental health issues, stigma is a huge problem faced every day, causing difficulty in many, often everyday, things, for example finding employment, getting a mortgage, or simply getting up in the morning. ...read more.


We often see news coverage of homelessness, (fairly frequently over Christmas) this is typically attributed to mental health issues, which may not be the cause in many instances. These representations distort the public's outlook and reinforce inaccuracies about mental health issues. It is not just the public who can adopt negative attitudes to the mentally ill, health professionals and GP's can also stigmatise the mentally ill. "The Mental Health Foundation research found that 44% of people who has experienced mental distress said that they had experienced discrimination from GPs. 35% of people surveyed said they had experienced discrimination from health professionals other than GPs." http://www.rethink.org/living_with_mental_illness/everyday_living/stigma_mental_illness/stigma_and_1.html The main reason for these discriminatory behaviours is that some health care professionals are not knowledgeable or experienced in mental illness. Hence they may not actually be able to offer the best advice or care, patients should always be referred to the best available professional and health education may now need to look towards better training, and indeed recruitment, of future mental health workers. However 'Moving People' is planning a �7million advertising campaign to try to change public attitudes to people with mental health issues, in which ten thousand trainee doctors and teachers will be educated in a training programme about mental health issues. ...read more.


The name of this project is 'Rethinking student mental well being' and is funded by the Big Lottery and Comic Relief and its overall aim is to challenge the increasing issue of mental health stigma, raising awareness throughout the student and staff population. In conclusion there are several groups attempting to focus on reducing the stigma attached to mental health issues but generally it is the attitude of the general public that needs to be changed. By and large if the media could focus it's attention, and it's reporting, on more positive aspects of the illnesses, i.e. people's recovery and more modern treatments, then obviously we would see an upturn in the everyday beliefs and attitudes of the public. An increase in the recruitment and better training of mental health personnel would also encourage the delivery of better care, leading to a lessening of negative attitudes, as patients become better placed and able to be part of everyday life. 2087 words Naidoo. J, and Wills. J. 2001. Health Studies: an Introduction. Basingstoke, Palgrave. Stanley, N, Mallon, S, Bell, J Hilton, S and Manthorpe, J. 2004 - 2006. Responses and Prevention in Student Suicide: The RaPSS Study. Papyrus. Sue, D., Sue, D. and Sue, S. 1994. Understanding Abnormal Behaviour. Boston, Houghton Mifflin Company. http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=0521549434 http://www.rethink.org/living_with_mental_illness/everyday_living/stigma_mental_illness/stigma_and_1.html http://www.mentalhealthcare.org.uk/content/?id=190 http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/news/england-s-biggest-ever-campaign-end-mental-health-stigma-and-discrimination-gets-moving http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_4006679 Nowak, R (2008) http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14444-killings-by-the-mentally-ill-reach-new-low.html?DCMP=ILC-hmts&nsref=news9_head_dn14444 Levin, A (2007) http://pn.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/42/23/8-a http://www.uclan.ac.uk/health/about_health/hpu_rethinking_student_wellbeing.php (All websites accessed on 10th January) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Healthcare section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Healthcare essays

  1. Concepts of health disease and illness.

    Deviance- on the other hand sees sick people as a social threat, it is important to identify people that are genuine sick than from those such as malingerers, and hypochondriacs who use it as an excuse to evade their societal responsibilities, this is normally done by the medical profession who act as gate keepers against this form of deviance.

  2. Post Operative Recovery Care "Recovery Room"

    The first priority is to obtain adequate intravenous access, in most patients this should initially be in the form of two large bore intravenous line (16g or greater) (1Up Health 2002). Because peripheral veins are collapased time should not be wasted with small veins (1Up Health 2002), it is always

  1. The aim of this assignment is to critically evaluate the biopsychosocial perspectives and influences ...

    Psychiatric Bulletin, 25: p121-123 SCHUCKIT, M., 2008. Alcohol and alcoholism. Philadelphia: McGraw Hill. SELIGMAN, M.E.P., (1992), Helplessness: On depression, development, and death. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman SHAH, P. and MOUNTAIN, D., 2007. The medical model is dead-long live the medical model.

  2. The Effectiveness of Brief Interventions in Reducing Binge

    By investigating the main factors associated with the binge drinking problem it has been observed that 77% of the respondents considered the social acceptability of alcohol in the society as the main reason which has played a significant role in the prevalence of alcohol misuse and which has been dramatically increased.

  1. Assisted Suicide

    where asked," and "Be of benefit, or at least do no harm." Furthermore, major professional groups (AMA, AGS) oppose assisted suicide. The overall concern is that linking PAS to the practice of medicine could harm the public's image of the profession; and (5)

  2. The aim of this study was to investigate the health and nutritional status of ...

    To keep the questionnaire short and minimize the burden on the participants, the questionnaire only sought information about the usual frequency of intake for different foods. The size of meal usually eaten was estimated by the participant using a food atlas as a visual aid (Nelson, 1997).

  1. Interprofessional working in mental health

    The number of formal admissions to hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983 has increased from 18,000 in 1990/91 to 26,700 in 2000/01 (DoH 2001). Consequently, it could be argued the implications for service users if they lose the

  2. Care versus Control: make a critical analysis of the debate, locating it in terms ...

    professionals to find them satisfied by meagre evidence in circumstances of uncertainty. Social Work Values An essential part of this debate lies in the recognition of ?overlapping but competing goals? of public protection (which the public and politicians are preoccupied with), access to care and services for those with mental

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work