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Societal Views On Mental Illness Essay

1605 words - 7 pages

Societal Views of Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Children and Adults with
Psychiatric Disability
Angela Cramer
Southern New Hampshire University
Portfolio Assignment #1

Societal Views of Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Children and Adults with Psychiatric Disability
In trying to gain a better understanding of societal views on people who experience emotional and behavioral problems because of psychiatric disabilities, I spoke with family, friends, acquaintances and past co-workers. In addition, I read peer reviewed articles to add to both my personal experiences and the conversations. I also read newspaper articles and more ...view middle of the document...

Not to mention that the children they thought needed skills training were not in the program because of the implications or because they didn't qualify for Medicaid and cant afford the cost of paying privately.
When asked what the cause of mental illness was people once again did not give very educated responses unless they were in the field and even then it wasn't completely accurate. Many people blamed it on the parents, saying it was in their genes. Others said it was situational, such as being in the military, going through a divorce, a death, a rape or different types of trauma.
When asked about fear and dangerousness the opinions were mixed. Those that did have fears almost all had a personal experience to base this on. Some said that they weren't fearful but followed up by saying that they would not want to have a facility or group home in their neighborhood and didn't feel safe having "those types of people" around their children.

While focusing more closely on hearing, observing, reading and remembering ways that people view mental illness/psychiatric disability, I learned a great deal about how people in society, along with co-workers in my field, view people with these illnesses. In thinking back, while working in a program designed to help people, I realized that my agency did not utilize "person-first" communication. I also watched movies and television program where the appropriate kind of communication was not used. In one program, a person was referred to as "a diagnosed schizophrenic". After learning about person first communication in my class, I learned that this was an inappropriate way to speak about someone experiencing a mental illness. What these things tell me is that despite the changes in the system, employees in this field still need to learn more about how to treat people that they work with in a more humane way.
I gained a new awareness around the idea of recovery after meeting a woman who suffers from a mental illness and works in a mental health agency as well as by reading Patricia Deegan's article. One of Deegan's recommendations involves understanding and recognition of the gift that people with disabilities have to give to one another. She says the gift is their hope, strength and experience that is lived in the recovery process. (Deegan, P.E. (1994)
Societal Treatment of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities and their Families
All across America and the world families struggle with themselves, or a family member, having a mental health issue. Stigma is one of the main reasons that people suffer quietly rather than seek help. These issues pose a higher risk to our well being then terrorists, but, in a polite society there is still a code of silence around these topics. One article written by the Institute of Medicine reported that the dangerousness of a person with mental illness committing violent acts is "greatly exaggerated" by the public. The great majority of...

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