Policy

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.

Stigma and Older Adults

This Distorted Perceptions original article explores the intersection of ageism and behavioral health stigmas, and the “double challenges” that can result for older adults with behavioral health conditions. In summary, both stigmas are alive and well, and although positive cultural changes are beginning to occur we must “address the stigma of being an older person in a culture that under-values aging, as well as the stigma of being someone with a behavioral health challenge in a culture that views those challenges with fear and contempt.”

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.