Stigma of Mental Illness speech

Document Type:Speech

Subject Area:Media

Document 1

Significance Statement Mental illness is a disorder that commonly affects thousands of people in the United States. It is a common issue that not only affects an individual but also the family members, colleagues and the society as a whole. The research statistics reveal that one out of five people experiences the mental illness problem at some point in their lives (Bockting, Miner, Swinburne Romine, Hamilton, & Coleman, 2013). Besides, further studies show that about 450 million people worldwide experience mental health issues (Friedman, 2013). Even though many people are victims, there is a strong link between the stigma of mental illness and people with this issues experience prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination of all sorts. Social stigma attached to mental illness has become the major issue that makes the lives of victims worse and harder for them to recover.

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I have been interested in psychology in the past few decades and my interest in this research topic was initiated the public opinion about the impact of stigma and the way this is the biggest barrier to health care. Personally, I have seen people in my area of residence distancing themselves and discriminating those with the mental disorder. I think some of you have heard or used the word mental, psycho or bipolar among other psychiatric terms to describe those around you but in literacy sense, you did not mean anything harmful to them Thesis Statement Although stereotypes and stigmatization about mental illness by mainstream media and society at large have impacted the lives of many people, luckily there are effective approaches we can employ to reduce stigma.

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Preview of Main Points a) The first major point that I will focus on is the stigma around mental disorder and what all this is about. If you have ever experienced stigmatization of any kind, then I am sure you probably understand. However, the stigma of mental illness occurs due to negative opinions, stereotypes and judgments that label someone as crazy, sick, incompetent or dangerous in the society. Stigma exists primarily because some people do not understand the mental disorder. It also exists because of negative perceptions towards people with mental illness. Stigma is linked with ignorance and as you know, illiteracy is the major problem contributing to the societal issues. Mentally ill people have been subjected to media and entertainment programs some of which has horror programs.

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A lot of information conveyed in those programs and other forms of media are false. Media sensationalizes the situation through unwarranted references to the victims. The media is often accused of sensationalism by depicting mental disorder inaccurately in their quest to gain higher ratings (Parle, 2012). A recent research study conducted revealed that media influence public stigma and reinforce negative stereotypes; thus contributing to unfounded fear and counteractive responses (Mukolo, Heflinger, & Wallston, 2010). It cannot only affect the patient but also the immediate surrounding people including family members and friends. As a result, this can cause further psychiatric related issues, such as depression and anxiety (Bockting et al. , 2013) In fact, stigma can bar or rather hinder the patient from seeking early treatment. You know very well that early prevention is better than cure.

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So you can imagine what will happen to the patient if he/she fails to seek early treatment. However, the curricula should focus on cognitive and developmental aspects tailored to different age groups to help improve public attitudes towards mental health without impacting self-stigma. The third strategy for reducing stigma is through contact. Many studies have proven contact as the most effective way of reducing stigma (Rössler, 2016). We all know that we can achieve the best from the educational program when the mentally ill people talk about their illness to the students. About 50% of the population experience an episode of mental illness in their lifetime (Rössler, 2016). Stigma is a mark or blemish and this can have a detrimental effect on an individual wellbeing.

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