Mental Illness Stigma

Should You Challenge Ignorance & Stigma on Social Media?

There are some good things about social media, but it also provides an opportunity for ignorance to get much greater exposure than it deserves. Some people would likely have a platform to reach large numbers of people even if it weren’t for social media. But the average science-naïve person who thinks that snow in one …

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Why does psychosis scare people? Maybe it's because they think it means psycho/psychopath (except it doesn't)

Why Psychosis Scares People

People tend to fear the unknown. Psychosis is arguably the group of symptoms that the average person finds the most frightening when it comes to mental health problems. There is stigma associated with many/most/all mental health conditions, but psychosis kicks it up a notch. What psychosis is As a quick explanation, psychosis refers to a …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: Written Off by Philip T. Yanos

Book Review: Written Off

Written Off: Mental Health Stigma and the Loss of Human Potential by Philip T. Yanos wasn’t available from the local public library, so I got a copy from the nearby university library. That difference in availability gives some indication of the nature of the book. I didn’t think it was overly textbookish, but at the …

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Alien Boy: The Police Killing of a Man with Schizophrenia

Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse is a documentary about a man with schizophrenia who was killed by police in Portland, Oregon. This film was funded by The Mental Health Association of Portland and over 1500 individual supporters, which I thought was pretty impressive. It’s an extremely disturbing example of police brutality against …

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scale with uneven balance

Letters from Generation Rx—Weighing Medication Risks & Benefits

I recently watched the documentary Letters From Generation Rx, which looked at instances of people experiencing significant side effects while on psychiatric medication, including people who took the lives of either themselves or others while on psychiatric meds. One man featured in the film was a Canadian Member of Parliament (MP) whose teenage daughter had …

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“Behavioral Health”: A Reflection of Structural Stigma?

In my local health care system in Canada, the term behavioral health isn’t used, but I’ve seen it used a fair bit in the context of other mental health systems. As far as I can tell, it’s mostly an American term. Since it’s relatively new to me, I tend to consider it from a more …

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How do we fight stigma most effectively? Education? Contact? Language change? Protest?

The Stigma Effect: How to Fight Mental Illness Stigma Effectively

I was inspired to write this post after reading the book The Stigma Effect by psychologist Patrick Corrigan. The book looks at what research has to say about what works and what doesn’t to fight stigma. Corrigan is a prolific stigma researcher, and I first encountered his work when I was doing my master’s thesis. …

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How Do You Respond to Stigmatized Language?

Crazy. Psycho. Schizo. Nutbar. Mad. Retard. Lunatic. Loony tunes. Insane. F***ed in the head. Bonkers. Whack job. Batshit crazy. Certifiable. These are just a few examples, but when it comes to derogatory mental health-related terms, there are many of them and we hear them often. Sometimes, we even use them ourselves. A study by Rose …

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Disclosing Mental Illness at Work: the good, the bad, and the ugly - Person walking a tightrope

Disclosing Mental Illness at Work: The Good and Bad

If you have a mental illness and have a paid job or volunteer gig, chances are that, at some point, you’ll be faced with the question of whether to disclose your mental illness at work, and if so, how much to disclose. Yes, there may be laws in place to keep employers from discriminating against …

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Should people in mental health crisis be routinely handcuffed by police?

Should People in Mental Health Crisis Be Handcuffed?

Mental illness is a health issue, not a criminal one, but the police role in mental health crises can end up blurring that line. In some places, people struggling with their mental health are routinely handcuffed to be taken to hospital by police. How is that appropriate? It seems like a practice that accomplishes little …

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