The good patient stereotype: the role that mental health professionals may expect of patients
Stop the Stigma

The “Good Patient” and Other Mental Illness Stereotypes

Stereotypes are a way that we store knowledge about social categories. When a category is considered by society to be deviant, such as the group of people who are mentally ill, members of that category tend to be viewed as a homogeneous group that is accurately represented by stereotypes. There may be a grain of… Continue reading The “Good Patient” and Other Mental Illness Stereotypes

How we talk about mental illness: definitions and connotations
Mental Health & Illness

How We Talk About Mental Illness: Definitions vs. Connotations

Some of the posts I’ve written lately, as well as people’s comments on response, have got me thinking about the different ways that different people may use the same words. When it comes to mental health conditions, there are technical medical/psychiatric/psychological definitions of terms, but those aren't necessarily the definitions that people are using in… Continue reading How We Talk About Mental Illness: Definitions vs. Connotations

Political advocacy to challenge mental illness stigma
Stop the Stigma

Political Advocacy to Challenge Mental Illness Stigma

A lot of us in the mental health blogging world are already engaged in advocacy in terms of raising awareness, providing information, and supporting others living with mental illness. There's another kind of advocacy, though, that many of us (including myself) don't typically engage in, which is political advocacy. Quorum.us says "Political advocacy is an… Continue reading Political Advocacy to Challenge Mental Illness Stigma

A Brief History of Stigma: I am mentally ill and I am also... - circle of puzzle pieces
Identity & Self, Stop the Stigma

I Am Mentally Ill, and I Am Also… So Many Other Things

I am mentally ill, and I am also a lot of different things. But do people see all of those things, or mostly just the illness? We all have many different identities associated with all the social roles that we play; not identities as in personalities, but bundles of knowledge, expectations, patterns of behaviour that… Continue reading I Am Mentally Ill, and I Am Also… So Many Other Things

How effective are awareness campaigns? - graphic of a megaphone
Stop the Stigma

How Effective Are Mental Health Awareness Campaigns?

We're surrounded by awareness campaigns, particularly health awareness campaigns. In the US, the number of designated national health awareness days had reached 200 by 2015 (Purtle & Roman, 2015). In 2017, the Stanford Social Innovation Review published an article titled Stop Raising Awareness Already. Pointing to the great many awareness month designations all for a… Continue reading How Effective Are Mental Health Awareness Campaigns?

Recovery-oriented practice and mental illness stigma
Stop the Stigma

Recovery-Oriented Practice and Mental Illness Stigma

Unfortunately, mental health professionals are a major source of stigma towards people with mental illness. Recovery-oriented practice is one possibility for transforming mental health care into a less stigmatizing place, so let's talk about what that might look like. What recovery is Personal recovery, also known as psychosocial recovery, is a different can of tuna… Continue reading Recovery-Oriented Practice and Mental Illness Stigma

Is it useful to talk around mental illness?
Stop the Stigma

Is It Helpful to Talk Around Mental Illness?

Mental illness can involve feeling really crappy and having a lot of difficulty functioning. That's not the experience of everyone with mental illness all of the time, but it's there in the mix somewhere. Yet sometimes it seems like people want to avoid the ugly bits, and talk around mental illness rather than talking about… Continue reading Is It Helpful to Talk Around Mental Illness?

The hearing voices movement: graphic of an ear and sound waves
Mental Health & Illness

A Look at the Hearing Voices Movement

The International Hearing Voices Movement (InterVoice) seeks to normalize, depathologize, and destigmatize the experience voice-hearing, and also provide support to people who hear voices, see visions, etc. InterVoice is based in the UK. There are also 28 national networks, including the Hearing Voices Network in the UK and Hearing Voices Network USA. The movement believes… Continue reading A Look at the Hearing Voices Movement

Stigma, word policing, and targeting the wrong audience: graphic of tree with dialogue bubbles
Stop the Stigma

Stigma, Word Policing, and Targeting the Wrong Audience

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

Is suicide a choice? Regardless, it's not selfish - graphic of arrows pointing in two directions
Suicide Talk

Is Suicide a Choice? (Regardless, It’s Not Selfish)

This post isn't about saying that suicide is something people should choose, or that it's a good choice, or that it's a choice that they want to have on the menu. I'm writing this because, while it's much more complicated to get into the element of choice, I believe that it's inaccurate to say that… Continue reading Is Suicide a Choice? (Regardless, It’s Not Selfish)