different social privileges and the related social burdens
Social issues & social justice

Another Way of Looking at Social Privilege

Lately white privilege has been a hot topic. The people I've come across who take a stance against the idea of white privilege seem to have in common the line of thinking that they haven't been handed anything, so how can they have social privilege? I thought it might be worth reframing social privilege in… Continue reading Another Way of Looking at Social Privilege

Black lives matter
Social issues & social justice

Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter

Through our shared humanity, all lives matter. So why is it important to talk about black lives mattering? All lives should matter equally. That is the ideal, and probably most of us would agree that it's the "right" thing. Unfortunately, though, in practice, not all lives are given equal value. An obvious example would be… Continue reading Why I Use My Voice to Say Black Lives Matter

Mental health

Ableism: The Assumptions People Make About Ability (and Disability)

I've seen ableism being mentioned on Twitter a number of times lately, and aside from the obvious meaning, it wasn't a concept I was all that familiar with in a mental health context.  This post will explore what ableism means for psychiatric disabilities. An article on the Center for Disability Rights website describes ableism this… Continue reading Ableism: The Assumptions People Make About Ability (and Disability)

Justin Trudeau in Aladdin costume with brownface
Social issues & social justice

Halloween, Blackface, and Cultural Appropriation

Time.com Not long ago, a photo was forwarded to Time.com from a 2001 yearbook of Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who was a teacher at the time, dressed in an Aladdin costume that included brownface makeup.  It caused quite a stir, with some people criticizing him as being racist. Since it's Halloween, it seems like… Continue reading Halloween, Blackface, and Cultural Appropriation

The words Human Rights with hands reaching towards them
Mental health, Social issues & social justice

Human Rights and Mental Illness

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was proclaimed by the United Nations in 1948.  I thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of its articles from the perspective of someone with mental illness, and throw in some assorted other observations as well. Text in italic font is the actual… Continue reading Human Rights and Mental Illness

many arrows pointing at the central intersection
Mental health, Social issues & social justice

Intersectionality and What it Means for Mental Health

Black feminist researcher Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw first proposed the concept of intersectionality in 1989 by to represent the many different layers of social stratification that can combine to disadvantage people.  This includes factors like race, sexual orientation, social class, age, disability, and gender.  Expanding on this concept, sociologist Patricia Hill Collins described the intersectional points as… Continue reading Intersectionality and What it Means for Mental Health

workplace mental heatlh statistics
Mental health, Social issues & social justice

Mental Illness and Employment Discrimination

Canadian Office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health Employers aren't supposed to discriminate against people with mental illness.  In fact, it's often against the law.  Yet employment discrimination happens, so what do we do about it when it does? Canadian human rights legislation In Canada, provincial human rights legislation requires equal rights and opportunities for… Continue reading Mental Illness and Employment Discrimination

group protesting, with a no sign in foreground
Social issues & social justice, Stigma

NIMBYism and Mental Health Housing

NIMBYism is a fascinating phenomenon.  NIMBYs, or people think that something is okay just as long as it's Not In My BackYard, cover discrimination with a thin veneer of civility and acceptability.  Among the many manifestations of this is with regards to social housing, including supported housing for people with mental illness. NIMBYs' arguments may… Continue reading NIMBYism and Mental Health Housing

Handcuffed racism word cloud
Social issues & social justice

Where Race and Mental Health Collide

Image by John Hain from Pixabay Like so many other things in this world, race shouldn't be an issue when it comes to mental health, but it is.  I'm not talking about biological effects associated with race like genetic susceptibilities to certain illnesses, but rather the impact of socially imposed ideas about race, and the lack of equality… Continue reading Where Race and Mental Health Collide

Parliament building, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Stigma

The Health Professions Act and the Fight Against Stigma

Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay As a nurse in my province (British Columbia, Canada), if I am hospitalized for mental illness then the provincial Health Professions Act requires the hospital to report me to the nursing regulatory college, and the college must treat this as a complaint about my fitness to practice.  This ends up with being… Continue reading The Health Professions Act and the Fight Against Stigma