System

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.”

Exploring The Link Between Racism, Trauma and Mental Health

Shardé Smith studies the role of race-related stress and trauma in families and the strategies that people use to cope. In this interview with Illinois Public Media, she discusses how cultural norms and stigma associated with having a mental illness influence outcomes for African-Americans.

CDC: Suicide rising across the US, More than a mental health concern

The CDC identifies suicide as a leading cause of death in the United States, with “suicide rates increas[ing] in nearly every state from 1999 through 2016.” Click the title to access the complete CDC report with statistics on suicide in the United States, factors that contribute to suicide, the 12 warning signs of suicide and suggestions for working as a community to prevent it.

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.

Homelessness and Mental Illness: A Stigma Double-Whammy

“In our culture, it is easier to judge than to understand. The compounding of stigma against people with mental illness and those who are homeless and have these illnesses is truly a double-whammy.” Believing the distorted perceptions and blaming these individuals for their situation is much too simple. This DP Original article challenges “all of us to banish the stigma of homelessness from the lives of people experiencing it, in conjunction with understanding that, often, mental illness either results from or is a precursor to people losing their homes.”

In Philadelphia’s building trades, construction workers are helping their colleagues battle addiction

“Rossi had just gotten a lesson in a hidden reality of the construction industry: In these physically demanding workplaces, painkillers are still a common way to get through the day, even as the opioid crisis has spiraled and workers have attended funeral after funeral. Workplace data on addiction is sparse, but recent research has indicated that construction workers are at higher risk for fatal overdoses — particularly heroin overdoses.” So the Allied Trades Assistance Program is bringing peer-support to construction sites. Follow the link for the full article from philly.com.