By: Victory MIranda
Girl Scouts Engage in the Fight Against Mental Illness Stigma with Mental Health Awareness Patch
By: Mental Health Weekly Digest, September 23, 2013
Girl Scouts are trying to fight to make a change in the increase of young bullying, suicide, and drug use. The girls are being educated by International Bipolar Foundation, so that they can decrease the stigma of mental health and illness.
- About 500 groups of Girl Scouts are working on the change of stigma on mental illness.
- Each of the individual girls that are participating in this are each trying to make a movement and change.
- These people and the service are trying to create a new library for kids with special needs.
- About 1 to 4 American people are diagnosed with some type of mental illness. That is a small amount because only a few of the people admit to their mental illness and go to get help, while another group just stay shut and they don't want to get help or talk to anyone about their problems.
- People think that because someone is having difficulties mentally, that they don't deserve treatment and it's not as important as other health issues like cancer, viruses, etc.
- People that suffer with cancer or diabetes are less prevalent than those people who suffer with a mental illness. Even though that is true, there is a barrier because of the stigma to get help and treatment. Most of these people feel alone and don't feel like they deserve recovery. These people don't get the support they need because of the stereotypes society and people make mental illnesses seem.
It shows what difference the Girl Scouts what to accomplish in their service. They're trying to change the stigma of mental health and illness by being educated and showing others what they learn.
A History Of Treatment For Mental Illness
There have been many ways and ideas to help treat mental health. Lots has changed throughout these few centuries. From the 19th century to the late 20th century, things have developed in how people view and help others with mental illnesses.
- During the 19th century, people were only considered to have a mental illness if a doctor recommends them to have treatment. If someone with a mental illness isn't diagnosed by a professional doctor, they won't get the help they need. They believed that people who were treated and in a mental patient hospital, that they will get better and that it is beneficial. Patients that are diagnosed with a mental illness and go to therapy, it is often ineffective and doesn't help cure the illness. Families are forced to pay for a family member's recovery when that person means nothing to them.
- During the early 20th century, the institutes are getting less protection for new patients. Former patients want more rights and they fight for it. People are forced to go to a mental hospital without going through a trial process first. Doctors aren't allowed to recommend anyone to get help. The authority for the right of this, went to the judges. After this happened, many mentally healthy people were put into a mental hospital.
- During the mid 20th century, patients were given drugs to help them. Later, deinstitutionalization begins which cases some hospitals to close and the number of patients rapidly decreased.
- During the late 20th century, Patient's civil rights were appreciated more. People that were put in mental hospitals, and that had no problems, were released free. Someone with a mental illness was still left in the hospital because they were taught to harm themselves or others. People with mental illness don't care for themselves, and often lead to harming themselves.
This shows how recovery and mental hospitals have improved. It shows the way patients with a mental illness were treated compared to now.
IU Study: "Backbone" of Mental Illness Stigma Common In 16 Countries Studied
By: Mental Health Weekly Digest, April 22. 2013
Studies show that mental illnesses can be cured and treated. People judge others that have a mental illness, put labels on them, and don't think of a mental illness as an actual disease.
- The results showed that public health efforts have a chance to reduce how people see mental illnesses and introduce treatment providers some issues that they should take into consideration.
- 16 countries were tested with study participants about customized vignettes. They showed someone suffering some type of mental illness. The countries represented some type of diverse range.
- Countries that accept mental illnesses still showed some type of stigma towards this situation. The stigma was mostly about schizophrenia.
- Because people think bad and negatively about mental health and illness, it prevents people to ask for help. Most kids or teenagers are scared to tell their parents that they have a very difficult to control mental illness, because many parents think that they fake these things for attention. That's how it's mostly viewed as. Some people aren't acceptance to any type of mental illness because to them its not serious because they're not really dying, but the truth is that their mental illness is emotionally killing them.
- Once someone gets the help or asks for it, they get discriminated in their work, home, medical care, and socially. They can also affect families and friends of the individuals going through it.
- People have a misconception of mental illnesses because they don't go through it, so its a very hard concept for someone to comprehend or understand.
- Mental illness is a very high health problem, which is why its necessary to prove that recovery is possible and that it has been documented.
This shows how they're trying to make a change. It shows how hard they're trying to change the way someone sees or thinks about someone with a mental illness. People are starting to be educated on these things because recovery is very important and can help save someone's life.
"People fake mental illnesses to get out of things and to have others feel bad about them. It is all for attention."
- Some people do fake mental illnesses to get the attention they want, but most of the time people are actually going through something. Most mental illnesses involve depression. A mental illness is usually caused by some type of event. There is a big majority of people who hide behind a mask. They don't want to feel the way they're feeling. It's not that easy to understand because someone that hasn't gone through it, can't possibly understand how it feels.
"These people with a mental illness aren't going to do anything, why must the government waste money on mental hospitals when they could use that money to help find a cure for cancer or something else more important?"
- There are people who really do need this help and they do need a mental hospital. Kids, girls, boys, adults, anyone could go through anything at any time. There are some people who have suicidal thoughts and if they aren't helped or go through treatment, there might be a time where they will just do it and a life will go to waste just like that. They need someone there to understand and listen to them. These hospitals help people with a mental illness find out what is wrong with them and how to control themselves.
"Children and adults aren't crazy, they shouldn't be put in a crazy home."
- With all do respect, going to a mental hospital doesn't mean that someone is crazy. It actually shows how strong someone is. It shows how badly they want recovery. Mental hospitals help many people with their issues and their feelings. It helps get them through everything. Once they are finished the time they needed to serve, they feel better and are recovered. They may not be fully recovered, but they are better than before. Feeling shame, sadness, angry, or any type of emotion, doesn't make anyone crazy, It shows they're human. Some people need more help than others, it doesn't mean they're crazy.
People Who Have Suffered With A Mental Illness
Lots of people have the misconception that only girls can go through mental illnesses, but this proves that boys can go through it too. Brad Pitt started to fall apart in the late 1990s. He isolated himself and started eating a lot of food only staying home watching television and eating. He also smoked a lot at the time to take the pain and loneliness he felt, away. He felt awful at that time, but now he feels strong because he feels like he can help others feel like they can get through it and that there is hope to recovery, even if you don't go to a mental hospital.
Demi Lovato went into rehab in late 2010. She was in there for 3 months. She was diagnosed with bulimia, anorexia, drug abuse, self harm, depression, and bipolar disorder. She was bullied ever since elementary school. Now, she is recovered and is a mental health advocate. When she reached out for help, her fans supported her and inspired them to ask for help too.
Lucy Hale had an eating disorder. She let it control her life. She would say things she wouldn't normally say, go to places she wouldn't go to, and date people she knew she shouldn't have dated. Now, she is happy and she found herself. She inspires people to be confident in their body and be happy with who they are.
"My love's like a star, yeah
You can't always see me
But you know that I'm always there
When you see one shining
Take it as mine and remember I'm always near
If you see a comet, baby, I'm on it
Making my way back home
Just follow the glow, yeah
It won't be long just know that you're not alone." (Demi Lovato, My Love Is Like A Star)
"Hey, this is not a funeral
It's a revolution, after all your tears have turned to rage
Just wait, everything will be okay
Even when you're feeling like it's going down in flames." (Kelly Clarkson, People Like Us)
"Don't lose who you are in the blur of the stars.
Seeing is deceiving, dreaming is believing,
It's okay not to be okay.
Sometimes it's hard to follow your heart.
But tears don't mean you're losing, everybody's bruising,
There's nothing wrong with who you are." (Jessie J, Who You Are)