How to Overcome Mental Illness Discrimination
Smart TMS Technician presents 7 tips on how we can all reduce the discrimination.
Ailish O’Grady’s final blog on the theme of the stigma surrounding mental illness.
How can you and I play our part in reducing stigma and discrimination of mental illness in our communities?
- Know the facts.
Educate yourself about mental health problems. Learn the facts instead of the myths. Education is a key factor in increasing our understanding and thus compassion to those with mental illness’, thereby reducing prejudicial attitudes.
- Be aware of your attitudes and behaviour
To some extent, we have all been influenced with prejudices and judgmental thinking. But we have the power to change the way we think! See people as unique human beings, not as labels or stereotypes. See the person beyond their mental illness; they have many other personal attributes that do not disappear just because they also have a mental illness.
- Choose your words carefully
The way we speak can affect the way other people think and speak. Don’t use hurtful or derogatory language.
- Educate others
Find opportunities to pass on facts and positive attitudes about people with mental health problems. If your friends, family, co-workers or even the media present information that is not true, challenge their myths and stereotypes. Let them know how their negative words and incorrect descriptions affect people with mental health problems by keeping alive the false ideas.
- Focus on the positive
People with mental health and substance use problems make valuable contributions to society. Their health problems are just one part of who they are. Let’s recognize and applaud the positive contributions people make.
- Support people
Treat people who have mental health problems with dignity and respect. Think about how you’d like others to act toward you if you were in the same situation. If you have family members, friends or co-workers with substance use or mental health problems, support their choices and encourage their efforts to get well.
- Include everyone
In Canada, it is against the law for employers and people who provide services to discriminate against people with mental health and substance use problems. However , in 22% of countries worldwide, there is an absence of laws which legally protect the human and civil rights of individuals with a mental illness (Saxena et al., 2007).
Denying people access to things such as jobs, housing and health care, violates human rights. You and I can put pressure on our government representatives to ensure policies and legal protections for individuals with mental illness’ are implemented.
People with mental health and substance use problems have a right to take an equal part in society. Let’s make sure that happens.
Saxena, S., Thornicroft, G., Knapp, M., & Whiteford, H. (2007). Resources for mental health: scarcity, inequity, and inefficiency. The Lancet, 370(9590), 878-889. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(07)61239-
Previous TMS Expert Blogs by Ailish
- TMS Expert Blog: Reducing Harmful Rhetoric on Mental Illness
- TMS Expert Blog: Consequences of Stigma/Discrimination
- TMS Expert Blog: Reducing Mental Illness Stigma in Ireland
Ailish, TMS Technician
Ailish is a member of the the Smart TMS team of technicians at our Dublin TMS Clinic in Ireland.
Her qualifications and experience include:
- Degree in Psychology through science at Maynooth University.
- Worked as a volunteer Mental Health carer.
- Particular interest in Mental Health, Cognition and Neuroscience fields of Psychology.
About TMS Treatment
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation Therapy at Smart TMS
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a new approach to treating very difficult mental health conditions and offers hope to millions whose condition is not improved by medication or therapy.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is an innovative treatment which uses magnetic pulses to work directly on the areas of the brain affected by the mental health condition being treated. This could be depression, addiction, PTSD, OCD or anxiety.
Patients have typically spent years on antidepressants and also tried CBT or other talking therapies before finding out about TMS, which offers a completely different approach to treatment.
More Information on TMS Treatment
Smart TMS’s new Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation treatment clinic will be located at:
28/32 Pembroke Street Upper,
For any queries or to book an appointment, please contact us:
Tel: (01) 254 2514