Stigma is a social phenomenon that encompasses stereotypes, prejudiced attitudes based on those stereotypes, and discriminatory behaviours. There are a lot of anti-stigma advocates, both organizations and individuals, focusing on word usage and what to say or not say about mental illness. This is sometimes referred to as word policing or language policing. Sometimes, those… Continue reading Stigma, Word Policing, and Targeting the Wrong Audience
Last week I reviewed White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. There were some important concepts that she alluded to but didn’t clearly explain, so I decided to do a post, from a social constructionist viewpoint, about how stereotypes and prejudice develop, and why the difference between implicit and explicit beliefs is important. Our societies create categories… Continue reading Racism, Prejudice, and Implicit/Explicit Beliefs
In 1991, the United Nations General Assembly passed a set of principles for the protection of persons with mental illness and the improvement of mental health care. A PDF version is embedded below. The international community will talk the talk when it comes to human rights and mental illness, but they're still a long way… Continue reading The UN’s Position on Human Rights and Mental Illness
I recently came across Manhattan Institute fellow Stephen Eide's 2020 article In Defense of Stigma in the online magazine National Affairs. It had some... odd... ideas about mental illness stigma, so I thought I would explore some of them. Okay, forget about exploring, I'm going to rant. The basic argument in the paper is that… Continue reading In Defense of… Stigma?
StopSIM When Skinny Hobbit shared an iNews article with me the other day about the mistreatment of high-service-needs people with mental illness, I had no idea just how deep of a rabbit hole the whole thing would be. The story of Serenity Integrated Mentoring, the NHS (the UK's National Health Service), and the way the… Continue reading Serenity Integrated Mentoring: Suicide Attempt? Do Not Pass Go
Caz of Mental Health 360º recently wrote about languishing and how people's mental health has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It made me wonder, will this change how people look at mental health and illness? Effects on mental health Isolation, lockdown, and stressors like job loss and financial strain have certainly brought mental health… Continue reading The Pandemic, Mental Health, and Stigma
Is there a "right" way to talk about illness and disability? The current popular favourite is person-first language. It really got going in the 1990s, with the American Psychological Association leading the charge. Instead of talking about a "disabled person", person-first language literally puts the person first, as in "person with a disability." This has… Continue reading Is Person-First Language All It’s Cracked Up to Be?
One of the most common and damaging stereotypes about mental illness is that mentally ill people are chronically dangerous and violence-prone (Corrigan and Watson, 2002). This stereotype is especially strongly linked to people with psychosis. Like many stereotypes, it's not true in the vast majority of cases, but the general public may not realize that.… Continue reading Psychotic Does Not Mean Violent
My news source of choice is the CBC, Canada's public broadcaster. Usually they're pretty good, but sometimes they slip up. This was the case with an article published on the CBC website on March 18 about a Russian woman, Margarita Gracheva, whose hands had been cut off by her "psychotic husband." The "psychotic" adjective was… Continue reading Stigma in the News: A “Psychotic” Abuser
As an official Crazy Person, I'm all for laughing at ourselves. It makes the hard stuff a little bit easier. But when other people use stigma as an excuse to laugh at us, that makes this Crazy Person very unimpressed, because stigma isn't funny. Canada's public broadcaster, the CBC, seems to do a pretty good… Continue reading Mental Illness Stigma Isn’t Funny