I chose to investigate mental health to discover the many agents, environmental and predispositions surrounding the issue. As well as the social stigma that hangs over those affected – ultimately crippling their credibility and relevance.
I was intrigued by mental health on a number of levels. Looking at mental health as a whole, the stigma attached, the role of mental health foundations and it’s impact on the youth and lastly mental health on a molecular level i.e. pre dispositions and the role of genes.
Reducing mental illness stigma and discrimination — everybody’s business is the title of an article from Barbara Hocking of the Medical Journal of Australia (MJA). Barbara is a regular contributor to the MJA. In the article Barbara examines and looks at number of contributing factors surrounding mental health. Barbara equates the “ stigma and prejudice associated with their illness is as distressing as the symptoms themselves ”. The article is well researched with sources from a multitude of areas.
Barbara highlights the role of the media in determining public attitudes to mental health. The media constantly reinforces and show stereotypical misconceptions surrounding schizophrenia. Images constantly portrayed and depicted as violent and characterised as having a split personality.
Reading on from my previous article. I wanted to explore those dealing with mental illnesses in high school and the services in place to help deal with the problems. The Conversation is a credible source for discussions of important issues, opinions and current news.
NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, University of Melbourne Anthony Jorm has received research grant funding for studies of headspace clients – a National Youth Mental Health Foundation. He has collaborated with headspace staff on research projects. Setup in 2006 as a alternative to professional help – Anthony explores whether the service is still relevant and helping with young people with mental health problems. Anthony notes that headspace was specifically set up to be “youth-friendly” and “stigma-free”
The government has commissioned an independent evaluation, but that’s yet to be completed. In the meantime, headspace has itself carried out some evaluation of outcomes based on routinely collected data.
Russell Foster’s article “ How sleep and mental health are linked in the brain ” was written in in collaboration with the conversation. Again another reliable source that details the relationship between mental illness and sleep rhythm. Today, such disruption is reported in as many as 80% of patients with schizophrenia. Russel goes onto describe the lack of sleep as one of the most common features of the disorder.
Russel explores these findings that raise the possibility that the lack of sleep and disruption may be an important factor in the early diagnosis of individuals with mental illness. This is hugely important, as early diagnosis offers the possibility of early help.
Article from The conversation written by Sebastian Rosenberg Senior Lecturer, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney. The first half of the article address the poor access to mental health care in Australia.
Mental health is the third-biggest chronic disease in Australia behind cancer and heart disease, affecting 4-5 million people each year. In the second half of the article, Sebastian explores the barriers involved with mental health. Rosenberg looks at the need to keep those suffering with mental health problems out of hospital. This should be the responsibility by government initiatives with a shift towards innovative community mental health care options. During which those affected can recover from their illness, complete their education, resume employment, avoid the common issue of homelessness a common issue. With the end result becoming healthy and productive members of the community.
‘Andys Man Club’: The Male Suicide Prevention Group Smashing Stigma And Proving #ItsOkayToTalk
The following article continues on the common thread of stigma towards mental health. Natasha Hinde a Lifestyle Writer at The Huffington Post UK looks at the stigma surrounding males and mental health – exploring Luke Amblers #ItsOkayToTalk as a case study.
The 26-year-old launched the socially led campaign using the hashtag #ItsOkayToTalk to break down the stigma surrounding. men opening up about their issues. The campaign gained the support of celebrities such as Ricky Gervais and Danny Cipriani.
In the UK, suicide is the number one killer of men under the age of 45, with 12 men taking their lives every day. The male suicide rate is currently three times higher than that of females.
Natasha doesn’t address the campaigns impact and effect in the long run. It all too similar to see a socially led campaign turn into a trend with participants looking for praise and acknowledgement without caring for the cause or not donating. The ALS ice bucket challenge followed this fate. Due to the viral nature of the videos, the major component of donating was mostly evaded.
From my the articles read and research gathered, I have found several interesting avenues to explore. Three insights that will propel my investigation forward include:
1. I wish to explore the positive and negative role of technology
2. I would like to see a multitude of first hand accounts of those suffering from illness.
3. Lastly the research surrounding the brain and the condition.
“Reducing Mental Illness Stigma and Discrimination Everybodys Business.” MJA. N.p., n.d. Web.< https://www.mja.com.au/journal/2003/178/9/reducing-mental-illness-stigma-and-discrimination-everybodys-business >
“Is ‘headspace’ Really Improving Young People’s Mental Health?” The Conversation. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2016. < https://theconversation.com/is-headspace-really-improving-young-peoples-mental-health-46398 >
“How Sleep and Mental Health Are Linked in the Brain.” N.p., n.d. Web. < https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/how-sleep-and-mental-health-are-linked-in-the-brain/ >
“Mental Health Changes Should Be Judged on Outcomes, Not Promises.” The Conversation. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2016. < “Mental Health Changes Should Be Judged on Outcomes, Not Promises.” The Conversation. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Aug. 2016.>
Hinde, Natasha. “‘Andys Man Club’: The Male Suicide Prevention Group Smashing Stigma And Proving #ItsOkayToTalk.” The Huffington Post. N.p., 10 Aug. 2016. Web. 16 Aug. 2016. < http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/andys-man-club-suicide-support-group-halifax-luke-ambler_uk_57a9d71de4b089961b858e5b >
Written by Louis Johanson 2016