Mental Health Stigma Kept this Man in the Shadows

As an Iowa community discussed the construction of a new inpatient mental health hospital in 2018, Marty Parrish responded to their stigmatizing remarks by sharing his personal story with mental health and addiction issues and the importance of inpatient treatment for his recovery. "I was always afraid of being judged because of the stigma against people with mental health," he said in a recent interview. "But after that very hostile meeting in Clive, I had to tell my story. I had to talk."

Stigma Against Gay People Can Be Deadly

The Anti-Stigma Project defines Double Stigma as: how the stigma associated with race, religion, age, sexual orientation, etc. is compounded by an additional layer of stigma related to behavioral health challenges. This article from the New York Times illustrates how stigma associated with the LGBTQIA+ experience can affect behavioral health and access to behavioral health services, and the strong psycho-social impacts of removing that stigma. Click the title to access the full article from the New York Times.

Transgender and non-binary people face health care discrimination every day in the US

“Transgender and non-binary individuals have higher rates of depression and thoughts about suicide. They are also significantly more likely to attempt suicide. These increased rates are not due to being transgender, but from dealing with stigma, lack of acceptance and abuse.” Click the title to access the full article from Medical Express.

Mental Health: Culture, Race, and Ethnicity

The Office of the Surgeon General, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institute of Mental Health, and SAMHSA have compiled a supplemental report to Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Check out some of our favorite quotes below, or click the title to access the whole report.

How Schizophrenia Became a Black Disease: An Interview with Jonathan Metzl

“Before the 60s, Ionia doctors viewed schizophrenia as an illness that afflicted nonviolent, white, petty criminals, including the hospital's considerable population of women from rural Michigan… By the mid- to late-1960s, however, schizophrenia was a diagnosis disproportionately applied to the hospital's growing population of African American men from urban Detroit. Perhaps the most shocking evidence I uncovered was that hospital charts "diagnosed" these men in part because of their symptoms, but also because of their connections to the civil rights movement.” Click the title for the entire article by Psychology Today.

Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations

The American Psychiatric Association has compiled 9 factsheets around mental health in diverse populations, which “provide a snapshot of the current state of mental health of minority populations and some factors that may contribute to mental health disparities among these groups.”

The Double Stigma: Homelessness and Alcoholism

This article takes a look at how common distorted perceptions around addiction have evolved into “three basic schools of thought on alcoholics and homeless shelters” centered around the idea of “wet “ or “dry” shelters (whether or not participants are allowed to seek shelter while intoxicated). The article also touches on harm reduction, housing first, and sample goals/ viewpoints from organizations providing each. A great introduction to the conversation around treating homelessness and addiction! Click the title for the full article from The Fix.

To End Homelessness Start with Stigma

“If you’re living in a shelter you’re looked upon as someone who doesn’t care or have a purpose in life, which isn’t the case. It takes time dealing with the stigma that comes from misconceptions such as: “You’re uneducated.” “You won’t work.” “You’re just plain worthless.” Society turns the other way because they believe you are these things, before even giving you a chance.”

This first-person account explores the stigma, social implications, and obstacles for receiving help as a homeless person. “We need to look at the various stigmas or labels we put on people who are homeless and stand up and be accountable for the way we treat them. We need to learn to give trust. Don’t be blinded by the stigmas that are put upon them.” Are you seeing clearly? Refocus and look again. Click the title for the full article from HomelessHub.

People with a mental illness discriminated against when looking for work and when employed

“Over half of people surveyed said that they had not been hired because of their mental illness.” Despite the survey being based in Australia, we’ve heard similar patterns of distorted perceptions and sentiments of discrimination expressed in the U.S. as well. Click the title for the full article "People with a mental illness discriminated against when looking for work and when employed" from The Conversation.