Stigma of Mental Illness in Australian Society

Is there still a stigma surrounding mental illness in Australian society? If so, what types of stigma exists, why does stigma surrounding mental illness still exist and what effect does this have on those that suffer from mental illness? Critically discuss and support with theories, case studies and concepts. This is a preview: ORDER YOUR PAPER NOW

Mental illness has been continuously associated with a stigma, which brings about negative experiences and attitude among individuals such as shame, blame, hopelessness, distress, and such since the society view them as abnormal. Some of the stigmas that exist are social and self-stigma. Social stigma will be associated with the negative stereotype of those individuals with mental illness. On the other hand, self-stigma occurs when a person labels herself negatively, and this may make the situation worse since it becomes difficult for them to seek treatment. In a society where justice is upheld, stigmatization can never be tolerated at all cost, although, in contrast, this has been witnessed in Australia.

According to a 2006 study in Australia, it has been found that at least 1 in 4 persons with stigma had personal weakness hence could not be employed. Secondly, when politics were considered, voters would not elect a person with depression. Furthermore, a survey did show that individuals suffering from schizophrenia condition were perceived as unpredictable and dangerous. This shows there has been a stigma surrounding mental illness.

Consequently, report by the National Inquiry into the Human Right of People with Mental Illness noted that ‘People with mental illness experience stigma and discrimination in almost every aspect of their lives. Some of the harmful effects of the stigma that surrounds mental illness in Australian society are shame, hopelessness, and isolation, reluctance to ask for help or to seek medical assistance, self-doubt, physical harassment among others.

Stigma in Australia has been rampant since some remedial actions which could be used to curb it are not put in place. These include, full utilization of media professionals which could be used to lower the impact either completely or to minimal levels, community is not disseminated with adequate information on how to impart positive attitude, choosing word and images carefully when dealing with affected persons and lastly explaining about stigma how it is without relying on myths, prejudice, and negative stereotype. Everyone can contribute to a no stigmatizing environment and world, in general, be embracing a positive attitude on how stigma is perceived. Moreover, thorough, informative, and compassionate stories should be reported as stigma is concerned.


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