The Stigma of Mental Illness Blog #3

Hi. My name is Isabel Medlock and I am a freshman at SLA. Earlier this school year my English class started a project called You and the World. Everyone in my class chose an issue and researched that issue. I chose the stigma of mental illness, the negative way society views mental illness. After we chose an issue and researched it, we wrote two blog posts about it. Here is the link to blog #1. In this blog post I wrote about what the stigma of mental illness is and how people are affected by it. In blog #2 I wrote about the Mental Health Parity, discrimination those with mental health issues face, an interview I conducted with a mental health professional, and my opinion on the stigma of mental illness. This is my last blog post and it is the post for change which is the last part of the project.

There are several ways people are trying to raise awareness of the stigma of mental illness. There are some organizations and campaigns. Some examples of these types of campaigns are Stamp Out Stigma, Stand Up For Mental Health, and I Am Not Crazy.  Stamp Out Stigma is an organization that tries to reduce the stigma of mental illness and substance abuse by educating people and encouraging to them to discuss this issue. Stand Up For Mental Health teaches mental health consumers how to turn their problems into stand up comedy acts and perform them. I Am Not Crazy helps raise awareness of the stigma of mental illness by using social media and the internet. Also, every year on the first full week of October is Mental Health Awareness Week. During this week there are events that educate others about mental health and promote the education of mental illness. These events are designed to help end the stigma. These are all very good ways of changing society’s view on mental illness but I think more should be done. Even with all these organizations and events not that many people know the truth about mental illness or know about the stigma. I think children should be educated on this subject in school. If children were educated about mental illness they wouldn’t believe in the stereotypes surrounding mental illness and that would greatly reduce stigma.

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Students on a website during my presentation.

For my agent of change piece I made a presentation to my advisory about the stigma of mental illness. In my presentation I explained what the stigma of mental illness is and why it is a problem. First I told them to go on a website and learn some things about mental illness and take some quizzes. Then I had each group read some stereotypes and discuss whether or not the stereotypes were true. At the end I showed a video from Bring Change 2 Mind. By doing this I helped raise awareness of the issue. Hopefully the people who viewed my presentation will want to learn more about mental illness and the stigma and maybe try to help reduce the stigma.  I enjoyed doing this project and learning about the stigma of mental illness. I think it’s a very important issue that needs to be talked about more, especially in schools. One thing I learned about myself and others is that when we are ignorant about something it often leads us to believe in stereotypes. The reason there is so much stigma surrounding mental illness is because people don’t learn about it.

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My presentation.

All the pictures above are from my presentation. In the first two pictures students are on a website, learning about mental illness. In the third picture students are discussing common stereotypes about mental illness. In the fourth picture I am explaining what the stigma of mental illness is.

I think I could have done a better job with my agent of change piece. I don’t think I’ve done enough. There are still so many people who don’t really understand mental illness and the stigma surrounding. I wish I had done something that would inform more people about this problem. There is still so much left to do to change people’s view on mental illness. People need to be educated about mental health. We need to change the laws that discriminate against those with mental health problems. We need to make people with mental health problems feel accepted instead of ashamed.

I would like to thank Ms. Dunn for all her help and advice. I would also like to thank all the people who helped proofread my blog posts.  I have enjoyed doing this project and I have really enjoyed learning about the stigma of mental illness. I hope that in the future it will no longer be a problem.

Thanks for reading my post! :-)

Links to my presentation:

Advisory Presentation Slide Deck

Advisory Activities