Reaction: Stigma Attached to Mental Health Issues

For those who don’t know, I’m a sports fan. That may or may not have anything to do with this article.

Yesterday the link below was shared across the twitterverse and spurred an amazing conversation for me, in which I heard incredible insight about how the worst-case outcome for mental illness can or should be treated in the media as well as what role that coverage can or ought to serve for spurring discussions both within the mental health world and beyond those immediately affected. The article is not long, so please take a look and share your reactions.

Stigma Attached to Mental Health Issues by Carol Mulligan

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2 comments
  1. said:

    So, the truth is that when I heard about Mike Flanagan’s death, I heard no mention that his death was a suicide. I didn’t actually find out until this piece was tweeted. And that’s part of the problem whose surface is only marginally scratched in this well-intentioned article. It is true that those who are struggling need to know they can talk about it. But before that’s a possibility, it has to be actually and meaningfully OK for them to talk about it.

    Vis-a-vis some things mentioned in a recent blog post [http://backwarde.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/and-so-it-goes/], that those with mental health issues talk to each other (in groups, through blogs, and through fora(ums) like this) is wonderful and productive — the next questions are when and how and through which means/media/venues and with what conversation starters do we talk to others to attempt to create that general OKness for those who may need help.

    One thought toward that end is the book project started in May (update post on that soon). Another thought is using high-profile moments as the conversation starter. To be perfectly honest, this leaves me somewhat uncomfortable for a variety of reasons I can go into later if necessary, but in the end I think we (collectively, as a societal whole) require more teaching moments…and if these moments of tragedy can be teaching moments, then perhaps so be it.

    Thoughts?

  2. Meredith said:

    As I mentioned in another blog comment:
    http://transplantportation.com/2011/09/01/commodifying-transfolk/
    We marginilized groups tend to become the educators for our own sakes. If we don’t do it, who will? There’s no question that this topic needs to be opened up. I read the article and as is typical of me reading things I agree with, I say to myself and the computer screen, “Yep, you’re right. I hope you have the power to do it and follow through. I hope someone important sees this article.” Basically that’s all I can do except reach out through my blog (to mostly mentally affected people as well) and be as obnoxiously outspoken as I am with my friends. I just don’t feel powerful enough. But more than that, because we’ve been talking about it and dealing with it ourselves for so long, there’s a big “Duuuuuuh” that goes through my head (and a little eye roll) to say that I don’t understand why people are this way. It’s in the same vein of civil rights. Duh, people, let’s get it going on.

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