POST 7 // Issue Mapping
By Eugenie Park
Creating mind maps helps to organise thoughts and lets us think about how things are connected. The maps we created in Week 3 was an introduction; thinking about who the stakeholders were, both human and non human. Mapping them in terms of different categories helped us to really think and evaluate the position of these stakeholders.
Week 4’s mapping exercise helped us to develop a sense of understanding with words. These word mapping ideas was interesting to see as a group as each person had subconsciously focused on different types of words whether they were emotive, negative, encouraging or clinical. It was interesting to see that although we were studying the same issue, each person had a different perspective and focus. Most of the word choices that I had made for this exercise were focused on supporting and preventing the worst of mental illness; well being, mindfulness, future, lost, unavoidable. Connecting these words with stake holders was another thought-provoking task. With the one word, depending on which stake holder was saying or using it, the connotations of the word would change. As we thought about this, we realized that this was due to the personal nature of mental illness. This mapping exercise was valuable to me, as it changed the way I wanted to write about mental health. It made me realize and think about the connotations of words before using them.
During Week 5 another mapping exercise was done with the help of other group members. With a guide, we were asked to map out more specific areas of mental health. The government was analysed in terms of being a stake holder. Having other group members collaborating on these mind maps was valuable as we were able to learn from each others research and knowledge. Breaking down the government, there was a strong understanding of their position within mental health.
From looking at these maps, its evident that stigma will continue to limit mental health from being noticed. The stigma that surrounds mental illness is what stops people from seeking help which can result in outcomes that could be avoided such as suicide. Stigma weighs down the importance of speaking about mental illness which in turn stops people from being aware and mindful of the people around them. This lack of awareness has lead to individuals to suffer from mental health issues, which in turn can also effect those around the individual.
This exercise brought me back to an article that I had read for Post 1, which highlighted the alarming number of returning war veterans that were committing suicide from mental health issues. Soldiers experience mental health issues during their time in the war and carry them back when their deployment is done. However only one fifth are reporting symptoms of PTSD or depression and within that only half seek treatment (Dingfelder 2009). Soldiers were afraid that mental health issues would stunt their career development or even result in their separation from the service. The stigma of being weakness is another factor that prevents these men and women from seeking help (Dingfelder 2009). More needs to be done to demolish the stigma of mental illness within the military, so that people can openly seek help and receive support and treatment.
Dingfelder, S. 2009, “The Military’s War on Stigma”, American Psychological Association, vol. 40, No. 6, pp. 52
Kim, D. 2014, “Stacks of You”, Moonassi, viewed 6 September 2016 <http://www.moonassi.com/slideshow/fpkieadgugmoiungbr8py5hyrlzuut>