Essay on Discrimination and Empowerment in Social Work

2201 Words Jan 13th, 2012 9 Pages
Discrimination and empowerment in mental health

In the essay I will be exploring elements of discrimination and empowerment. I will be starting by unraveling what is meant by discrimination and the effects it has on the individual or group, their culture, society and the possible structural implications. As this is an extensive area of study I will be looking at discrimination and empowerment in the context of mental health.

Defining discrimination can lead to many difficulties; even when naming the group of people who face discrimination can lead to pitfalls, as a group may be left out or it could fail acknowledge multiple oppressions. This is also true when defining what it means to be discriminated against as individuals will have
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The medical model has been heavily criticised for its focus on labelling (Teater, 2010) and diagnosis of the particular problem.

Stigma is created by stereotypes prejudice, discrimination and is the reaction from society towards a person with mental health problems. (Teater and Kondrat 2009)This negative label is then attached to a person under the assumption that people with a mental health problems are ‘dangerous’, ‘evil’, ‘crazy’ and somehow it will start in infiltrate ‘normal’ society (Ramsay et al, 2001) This negative label may start with a diagnosis, Prior (1999) states that it can be difficult to admit having a mental health problem due to a lack of trust an results within the psychiatric profession.

Stigma is carried in society by

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