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Published By  Forum Admin

Mental Illness and Employment Discrimination

Abstract and Introduction
Abstract
Purpose of Review: Work is a major determinant of mental health and a socially integrating force. To be excluded from the workforce creates material deprivation, erodes self-confidence, creates a sense of isolation and marginalization and is a key risk factor for mental disability. This review summarizes recent evidence pertaining to employment-related stigma and discrimination experienced by people with mental disabilities. A broad understanding of the stigmatization process is adopted, which includes cognitive, attitudinal, behavioural and structural disadvantages.

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Published By  Lindsay

Taking It To The Streets: National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month Begins July 1; NAMI Highlights Surgeon General's Concerns



 July 01, 2010   National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month begins Thursday, July 1, coinciding with the annual convention of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Washington, D.C.

NAMI's Multicultural Action Center and 2010 NAMI Convention are hubs for multicultural concerns, building on the U.S. Surgeon General's landmark report on Mental Health: Culture, Race and Ethnicity.

"Minority Mental Health Awareness Month is a time for education, support and advocacy," said NAMI Executive Director Michael Fitzpatrick. "One in four Americans experiences mental health problems in any given year. Diverse communities are no exception."

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Published By  Lindsay

I was asked by Diana Keough of ShareWIK.com to write about the topic of living with bipolar without letting my mood disorder define me. You can get to her blog post by clicking here.

"A label is a mask life wears," writes Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D., one of the first pioneers in the mind, body, health field. "Labeling sets up an expectation of life that is often so compelling we can no longer see things as they really are ... In my experience, a diagnosis is an opinion and not a prediction. What would it be like if more people allowed for the presence of the unknown, and accepted the words of their medical experts in the same way? The diagnosis is cancer. What that will mean remains to be seen."

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Published By  Forum Admin


I Don't Need a Psychologist, I'm Not Crazy

By Dana Gionta, Ph.D.
Just when I think significant progress is being made toward increasing the acceptance and positive perception of counseling, something will occur to lead me to question that.

The latest occurrence was a recent interaction I had at a bank. Upon seeing my checks made out to Dr. Gionta, I was asked by the bank teller "What kind of doctor are you?" I'm a psychologist, I said. He then asked, "A clinical psychologist?" I said yes, then, "You must deal with a lot of crazy people." This both amused and somewhat surprised me. I then paused and carefully thought about how I was going to answer this, without adding to his already unfortunate stereotypical view of the profession. I said "well, actually, I work most often with people dealing with difficult life transitions, like divorce, health challenges, relocation, work stress, and family/parenting issues." "So, where is your practice located?" he asked. "Branford, CT, I said." At this point, he appeared to lower his voice and half whisper something to me. I believe he was trying to find out how much I charged? I couldn't make it out, and out of the corner of my eye noticed the other bank teller starting to look curiously at him and our exchange. I found this quite amusing...like something out of a sitcom. He finally asked, as the banking transaction was nearing the end, "Do you have a business card?" I gave him my card, thanked him for his help, and walked away, wondering where and when my next encounter with the "Stigma" would be.

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Published By  Lindsay

 Reducing The Stigma of Mental Illness




 A new intervention, the result of a collaboration between researchers from the University of Haifa, City University of New York and Indiana University, was found to reduce the self-stigma and improve the quality of life and self-esteem among persons with serious mental illness.

“Just like wheelchairs and Braille have increased social integration for people with physical handicaps, there is also a need to identify and remove the barriers to community inclusion for people with serious mental illness,” says Prof. Roe, Chair of the Department of Community Mental Health, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences at the University of Haifa who led the study together with his colleagues from the US - Professors Paul H. Lysaker from Indiana University School of Medicine, Dept of Psychiatry and Philip T. Yanos of the Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and from Israel - Dr. Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon, Yaara Zisman-Ilani and Oren Deri.

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Published By  Lindsay

Progress is being made to remove the stigma of mental illness and mental health disorders.

You can take positive steps to combat stigma.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Stigma is a very real problem for people who have a mental illness. Based on stereotypes, stigma is a negative judgment based on a personal trait — in this case, having a mental health condition. It was once a common perception that having a mental illness was due to some kind of personal weakness. We now know that mental health disorders have a biological basis and can be treated like any other health condition. Even so, we still have a long way to go to overcome the many misconceptions, fears and biases people have about mental health, and the stigma these attitudes create.

Stigma may be obvious and direct, such as someone making a negative remark about your mental health condition or your treatment. Or it can be subtle, such as someone assuming you could be violent or dangerous because you have a mental health condition. These and other forms of stigma can lead to feelings of anger, frustration, shame and low self-esteem — as well as discrimination at work, school and in other areas of your life. For someone with a mental illness, the consequences of stigma can be devastating. Some of the harmful effects of stigma include:

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