Mental Health Stigma, Discrimination, and Prejudice Essay

1701 Words May 10th, 2009 7 Pages
Mental Health Stigma, Discrimination and Prejudice

Karen Bleicher

Spring, 2009

Professor Mark Harris

Social Problems 2023

To Fight Stigmas, Start with Treatment
Last fall, British television broadcast a reality program called “How Mad Are You?” The plot was simple: 10 volunteers lived together for a week in a house in the countryside and took part in a series of challenges. The amazing thing was that there were no prizes at the end of the challenges. There was a very interesting concept to the reality show. Five of the volunteers had a history of a serious mental illness, like obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder, and the other five volunteers did not have any mental illness. The challenges that were
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Bush signed a law that prohibits health insurance discrimination against patients with mental illness. (1)
What is the Antistigma Campaign all about? There is a lot of stigma, discrimination, and prejudice against people with mental illness. Social stigma is severe social disapproval of personal characteristics or beliefs that are against cultural norms. Some examples of existing social stigma include mental illness, physical disabilities, and diseases. (2) Bruce Link and Jo Phelan propose that stigma exists when four specific components converge. First individuals differentiate and label human variations. Second is prevailing cultural beliefs tie those labeled to adverse attributes. Third is when labeled individuals are placed in distinguished groups that serve to establish a sense of disconnection between US and THEM. Fourth is when labeled individuals experience status loss and discrimination that leads to unequal circumstances. In this model stigmatization is also conditional on access to social, economic, and political power that allows the identification of differences, construction of stereotypes, the separation of labeled persons into distinct groups, and the full execution of disapproval, rejection, exclusion, and discrimination. Also in this model the term stigma is applied when labeling, stereotyping, disconnection, status loss, and discrimination all exist within a power situation that facilitates stigma to occur. The first component is

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