Dear People Who Stereotype others with Mental Health Concerns,
We are writing to you because your misinformation and ignorance about mental health hurts other people. We ask for you to not make jokes about people with mental health because that affects them in harmful ways. For example, many of you believe that people with mental illnesses are violent, incompetent and comical. Some mental disorders like antisocial personality disorder and an acute stage of some psychotic disorders do have aggression and violence as possible symptoms, however recent research has shown that using alcohol and drugs is a more reliable predictor of violent behavior than is mental disorder.
People with mental illnesses are not incompetent and not child like. There are things that they struggle with and that get in their way. Sometimes they don’t know what to do. This becomes part of their life and this follows them towards the future and sometimes this causes distraction and makes it hard to keep on task.
I have a mental health concern, and having and living with it is not fun. It is hard to deal with and is also stressful. The way you see and talk about it Is not true with people who have mental illness in their own eyes. Maybe some of you think that you were not trying to be be mean or disrespectful it’s okay because it might be a misunderstanding. You are our target even though you think your not doing anything wrong to the community because what you are doing making stereotypes. It doesn’t look like it hurts anybody but it impacts a huge amount to people with mental health community it hurts them very badly. The thing is when some people joke about mental illness they don’t really think about the experience of someone who has mental illness. They don’t know how people feel, and when they think about the experiences of someone with a mental illness, they might be more understanding. Words have power and some can really hurt and impact communities.ou and other people might see that stereotypes might be playful but seriously and it could lead to higher attempt of suicide. Below in the first graph, there the graph shows us the older a person gets the suicide rates go higher. But for males the suicide rate is higher by 16.3% rather than females ever since 2001. In the second graph it is similar except The rates are a little lower for females. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/suicide.shtml
The issue when it comes to metal health is that it comes with many stereotypes and stigma. A reason in which people make stereotypes is due to misunderstanding, sigma often occurs when people are judgemental. The oppressed group in this case is people who deal with mental health. Some effects of the issue on the community is that they (people who are part of the mental health community) can face the same stigma and/or fear other people can be facing. This will just create more and more people to feel like they are being judged and excluded. I personally think that no one benefits from this inequality because all the oppressor is doing is oppressing the community which just seems like a hateful move. The community is facing internalized, interpersonal, and ideological oppression. Our allies are people who are willing to create a change. Finally, our opponents are the people creating the harm and people who are ok with what’s going on.
Some tactics of social change that people have been using over time are education, and propaganda. These tactics have gotten a lot of attention around stereotypes and how it affects people with mental health issues.How communities and groups have been helping people with mental is we have given people a mental health awareness month which is May, it is here to raise awareness and enlighten people about the importance of mental health and to stop the stigma associated with mental health. Mental health awareness month is also here to educated people on how to make people feel comfortable and how to talk to people with mental issues appropriately and how they are suppose to be friendly and not scare them. One step that we can help people with mental illnesses is to first, is to stop stereotyping people with mental disabilities. This is harmful because if different communities trying to help a oppressed group then we shouldn’t show stigma towards them. Another tactic that communities use is by changing the choice of words that you use towards people with mental disabilities, because you might say something such as, “ Stop acting crazy” and you might not mean it in a harmful way but it can still seem that you are showing stigma. You can do this by rethinking what you might say towards people. So as you can see these are some important skills that you will need to use to make a person with a mental illness feel more comfortable around other people which would be leaving them antisocial.
Our plan this week is to educate the middle schoolers about mental health and stigma. We are going to email and do a presentation in a middle school class.
Please follow us at our Instagram @EndingMHStereotypes to learn more about what we are doing.
Dustin C. , Leslie D. , Kimberly J.12