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How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill

DJ Jaffe

D.J. Jaffe (@MentalIllPolicy) is a writer and activist whose work is focused on improving care for the 4% of people who are the most severely mentally ill, including those with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

D.J. is the founder and Executive Director of Mental Illness Policy Org, a think-tank dedicated to providing law enforcement, the media and policy makers with unbiased information on issues affecting the seriously mentally ill.

His op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall St. Journal, and he is the author of the controversial and well-reviewed, “Insane Consequences: How the Mental Health Industry Fails the Mentally Ill“.

In today’s episode we discuss the distinctions between serious and non-serious mental illness, why anti-stigma and anti-suicide campaigns are misguided, the damaging myths about serious mental illness perpetuated by the media, and ultimately how mental health advocates are failing the very people they profess to be trying to help.

 

Related Links

Mental Illness Policy Org – Homepage

8 Myths About Mental Illness – by D.J. Jaffe

Mental Illness Policy Org – Facebook Page

National Alliance on Serious Mental Illness – Facebook Group

Book Recommendations

                                   

Image courtesy: MJ Klaver

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Stigma and Discrimination in Mental Health

Prof. Graham Thornicroft

Prof. Graham Thorniocroft (@ThornicroftG) is Professor of Community Psychiatry at King’s College London, Consultant Psychiatrist for South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and Chair of Maudsley International.

Graham has authored or edited over 460 peer-reviewed papers and 30 books including “The Oxford Textbook of Community Mental Health“, and the book which forms the basis of today’s discussion, “Shunned: Discrimination Against People with Mental Illness”.

In today’s episode we discuss the origins of stigma, from the etymology of the word itself to historical depictions of mental asylums. We draw lines of distinction between concepts such as ignorance, prejudice and discrimination and how each of these manifests in the real world.

We explore how the media depicts mental illness, how stigma is actually measured and quantified by researchers, the importance of anti-stigma campaigns such as Time To Change and the ways in which they’ve proved successful.

We touch on the recent trend in anti-stigma campaigns aimed specifically towards men, we ask if discrimination is ever justified, and most importantly Graham gives a few tips on how people with mental health issues can navigate the potential minefield of disclosure.

 

Recommended Links

Time to Change – Let’s end mental health discrimination

Mental Health Awareness Week (UK) – Mental Health Foundation

Mental Health Month (US) – Mental Health America

Books Mentioned in This Episode

     

 

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Image courtesy: Mark Chinnick