Grayson (2004) states that "If one looks back over the history of how mental illness was regarded in various societies and ages, the only consistent threads that weave through the fabric of the centuries are the isolation and stigmatization of the mentally ill" (p.6).
This paper will discus mental illness stigma and discrimination and its impact on individuals who experience mental illness, their families/whanau and society.
Compounding the racial discrimination experienced generally is theinstitutional racism in health care that affects minority access to healthcare and the quality of health care received. Despite efforts over the pastthirty *54 years to eliminate discrimination and reduce racial segregation,there has been little change in the quality of, or access to, health care formany minorities. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, "Despitethe existence of civil rights legislation equal treatment and equal access arenot a reality for racial/ethnic minorities and women in the current climate ofthe health care industry. Many barriers limit both the quality of health careand utilization for these groups, including ... discrimination." Racialdiscrimination in health care delivery, financing, and research continues toexist, and racial barriers to quality health care manifest themselves in anumber of ways.
One of the direct effects of welfare reform has been a reduction in the useof medicaid by those who qualify due to an unawareness of eligibility *55requirements, resulting in an increased number of uninsured. A second effecthas been that the subsequent increased poverty among those in need ofassistance has caused a worsening of health status and an increase in the needfor health care services. In fact, a disproportionate number of racialminorities have no insurance, are unemployed, are employed in jobs that do notprovide health care insurance, are disqualified for government assistanceprograms, or fail to participate because of administrative barriers. Gaps inhealth status and the absence of relevant health information are directlyrelated to access to health care.
Racism and the Media in Canada
In 2010, a Maclean's Magazine ran a controversial cover headline that read, "Too Asian?" The headline was crafted to sell magazines, of course. However, it was also interpreted as "irresponsible journalism that relies on spreading racial stereotypes to sell magazines and newspapers," (Lee). If institutionalized racism is the covert form of racism, then media stereotyping is more overt. The media is the primary means of acquiring information about the world; Canadian viewers construct their social realities in part by watching television and movies. As a professor of communications at the University of Ontario states, "Making people into foreigners starts with the media," (cited by Lee).
Stereotyping can seem innocent, and is often used in comedy. However, stereotypes can be dangerous. When stereotypes become part of the belief system of the culture, they can lead to more malicious forms of prejudice and bigotry. Stereotyping is not the only issue with Canadian media that is contributing to racism. The Media Awareness Network points out that "Members of
Wachtel's essay "Talking About Racism: How Our Dialogue Gets Short-Circuited" claims that racial problems are caused by whites not being willing to hear and resolve concerns of blacks.
Any discussion of the language of madness needs to include a mention of how Martin Luther King, Jr., in over ten of his speeches and essays, said he was proud to be psychologically "." It is highly recommended that everyone who cares about change in the mental health system become familiar with Martin Luther King's use of this term "maladjusted." For at least a decade, he said in a variety of ways, "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." In fact, he even repeatedly said the world was in dire need of a new organization, the "International Association for the Advancement of Creative Maladjustment" ().
A belief or doctrine that inherent differences between the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
He pointed out that the secular nature of American public culture and its underlying pluralistic character are important aspects of the context for our system of education.
I've heard that some feel that using alternatives to medical model language somehow diminishes the seriousness of people's personal pain, that, for example, being diagnosed with "clinical depression" underlines the gravitas of a crisis better than, say, "sad." But there are words in the English language more fierce than "sad." How about, for example, "extreme and catastrophic life-threatening anguish"? That phrase has a lot more gravitas than any clinical language I've ever heard! (The origin of the word "clinical" by the way, is simply related to "bed.")
I feel words such as "crazy" can actually be positive in certain contexts. Consider, "I'm crazy in love." Isn't the only real love, crazy love? Recall Apple's early motto for their computers, "Insanely great." The word origin for crazy is "cracked," and in Japanese art the pottery with a beautiful imperfection has a special value.
Everyone may know someone with mental illness, whether they have a psychotic disorder including schizophrenia and its four classifications, Schizoid Effective, Bi-polar Mania, the Autism Spectrum, Tourette’s Syndrome, Depres...
In the short term, we can at least try to change the language we personally choose to use. I know many of my friends in our mad movement -- including psychiatric survivors, dissident mental health professionals and authors -- freely use the term "mentally ill," because they think it's more recognizable by the public. However, in the field of Intellectual disabilities, many groups now have campaigns to get rid of the frequently-used And of course civil rights activists have largely effectively fought the "N word." Frequency of word usage does not eliminate the pain that is caused, and does not make change hopeless.