Write a 1 page paper on discussion board week 6. Stigmatization of the Mentally Ill: What Jesus Might Have Said and Done October 19, Stigmatization of the Mentally Ill: What Jesus Might Have Said and Done
Some people find it hard to acknowledge the presence of mental illness in Western society because of various social and individual reasons. Two of these social reasons are a meritocratic culture and religious views that connect mental illness with lack of personal responsibility and sins, respectively. Rüsch, Todd, Bodenhausen, and Corrigan (2011) learned from their survey that a meritocratic worldview and Protestant work ethics tend to blame people with mental illness for their sickness by thinking that they are not working hard enough to get healed and to manage their personal affairs, and that their sins and guilt resulted to their mental illness. Furthermore, Couture and Penn (2013) and Corrigan (2000) showed that lack of interpersonal contact with and having negative experiences of or stereotypes about people with mental illness further make some individuals think that mentally ill people cannot be trusted and that they are dangerous and do not have a strong sense of responsibility.
With these negative perceptions from society, sometimes even from loved ones, people with mental illness will find it difficult to talk about depression, anxiety, and psychosis with others, including mental health professionals (Couture & Penn, 2013, p. 292). They will no longer discuss their mental illness because of fear of stigma and discrimination. The consequences of not helping or ignoring people with mental illness on a grand scale are the reinforcement of stigma and discrimination against them that can lead to a lower quality of life (Corrigan, 2000, p. 48), negative feelings of anger and feeling hurt, and lower self-esteem (Couture & Penn, 2013, p. 291). Essentially, the more that they are ignored, the worse their mental illnesses will become.
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Jesus Christ might have said to the mentally ill that nothing is impossible with God. He might have told them: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He stresses that God will help them heal from within. In addition, the Bible shows how praying and asking for God’s help is important in curing mental illness. Psalm 34:17-18 says: “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them. he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Jesus might have guided the mentally ill to cure through building and strengthening their faith in God and His power.
Corrigan, P.W. (2000). Mental health stigma as social attribution: Implications for research methods and attitude change. Clinical Psychology Science and Practice, 7, 48-67.
Couture, S.M., & Penn, D.L. (2013). Interpersonal contact and the stigma of mental illness: A review of the literature. Journal of Mental Health, 12(3), 291-305. Retrieved from http://www.brown.uk.com/stigma/couture.pdf
Rüsch, N., Todd, A., Bodenhausen, G., & Corrigan, P. (2011, April 1). A widespread stigma. Kellogg Insight. Retrieved from http://insight.kellogg.northwestern.