This piece explores suicide and depression in the Asian American population, identifying suicide “as the ninth leading cause of death among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the 10th leading cause of all deaths in the U.S.”
“I understand, but I wish that more families would be open about suicide. I say this not only for the public at large, which would benefit from knowing the full truth about suicide. Not only for others who lost a loved one to suicide and who are further stigmatized when suicide is considered so shameful that it must not be named. Not only for those who have attempted or seriously considered suicide, and who are hurt by the notion that what they did is shameful. I say this also for the family itself.”
Gina Dimitropoulos’s paper for Canada’s National Eating Disorder Information Centre highlights some great information on the distorted perceptions held in public and professional spheres, the consequences that these negative attitudes can have for individuals experiencing eating disorders, and tips for challenging internalized stigma and stigma in the public, professional, and family roles.
”The stigma of drug use here is so strong, mothers ask Campanella if she can spare a dose of Narcan in case they need it to save their children. They'd rather not be seen in line at the pharmacy, they tell her.”
What distorted perceptions exist around addiction, treatment, and the overdose reversal drug Narcan? This article from EMS1 serves as a great introduction to the internal and external stigmas that can deter individuals, families, and entire communities from embracing treatment and recovery from addiction. Click the title for the full article from EMS1.com.
“Priya Mammen, an emergency room doctor at Methodist, said she often has a hard time convincing her patients to seek help outside the community. ‘Sometimes they don't even want to go up to our Center City campus,’ she said. ‘Prevention Point is a phenomenal resource that I would love to link any number of people to. But they're like, 'That's Kensington. I don't go there. I'm not that person.' The stigma goes in all directions.’”
“‘It is possible that unemployment causes poor health conditions such as depression, or it could be that having such conditions makes it harder to land a job.’ Or, if intuition will be allowed to supplement data, it could be a lot of both.” Click the title for the full article "The Mental Health Consequences of Unemployment" from The Atlantic to to learn more.
We set out to explore the following questions: How does an individual’s behavioral health experience affect their family? How does stigma impact family members specifically? Can the stigma that family members receive cause them to stigmatize others? And what can families do to minimize the effects of internal and external stigma?
Resources to Recover talks about the importance of “being patient and learning to communicate the challenges the family member is facing,” providing children with the tools and support to cope with the experiences, and monitoring their well-being throughout the process.
When we don't know the facts, blaming parents for their child's behavioral health diagnosis is stigmatizing. Parents report that they are most likely to be blamed for their child's diagnosis by extended family, as opposed to by school systems or service providers.
“If you are applying for a benefit, seeking respite, or trying to obtain medical care, sadly there's no 'User Guide' or clear pathway through the system,” says one carer.
“I think substance abuse is an issue that is much, much more common than most people think, but is often hidden because as parents we feel like failures. It’s hard to admit.”