NEW YORK CITYVOICES

Stigma

Articles on the stigma of mental illness from NYC Voices.

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Through the Eyes of a Stranger - Part 1 - Part 2
By MICHAEL G. SPENNATO
"In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, 'No one can insult you without your permission.' ...We need to give ourselves a chance to grow and develop into the meaningful person we were meant to be."

Editor at Large
By MARVIN SPIELER
"Where are these ER personnel and doctors in general coming from!? Didn't they learn about mental illness in their training? We are human beings. Our disease is secondary."

Getting Educated About Mental Illness & Life
By SCOTT HEFLER
"At first, I was reluctant to talk to Ken ... without a third party present. Then, I realized what was happening. I was acting contrary to the mission statement of the newsletter, which is to remove the stigma of having a mental illness. I was, in fact, placing a stigma on Ken."

Stigma. Anti-Stigma
By MARVIN SPIELER
"Lately the media has singled us out once again! This time a schizophrenic has done this; another schizophrenic has done that. How does it make you feel? It makes me mad. I'm labeled! A nut... I'm violent... I'm feared!"

Stigmabusters Network
By JOE RODGERS
"Their 'smoking gun' approach to confronting stereotypes in the media is simple, it often works, and it opens doors to key figures in the media industry."

Out to Prove Them Wrong
By SHARON GRAVENER
"I have two sons who spent years in foster care because no one believed or will ever believe that I am capable of taking care of my sons again."

Violence Stereotype Hurts People with Mental Health Needs
By OTTO F. WAHL, Ph.D
" individuals discharged from psychiatric hospitals who were not also substance abusers were no more violent than members of the communities in which they went to live"

Anti-Stigma Education
By MARVIN SPIELER
"Have you ever heard of a mental illness Walk-A-Thon ... But why not? Stigma is the reason. We feel the shame, the fear of disclosure if mental illness would become known."

We Have Choices To Make
By MICHAEL G. SPENNATO
"If we believe that there is a degree of choice in any matter, we can then increase our self-esteem and self-worth moving towards a healthier, less stigmatizing state in which we can be truly "chronically normal" despite being diagnosed with a mental, developmental or physical impairment."

Stigma Is Wrong
By MICHAEL G. SPENNATO
"Medication treatment for the mentally ill is no different than that for the medically ill ... side effects of the medication can be similar."

Destigmatizing Mental Illness Through the Schools
By JANET SUSIN
"What, she wondered, had happened to her brother ... And what should she do about classmates who were overheard making fun of her brother and calling him 'a mental?'"

Stigma Versus Discrimination
By MICHAEL G. SPENNATO
"If our self-esteem is high enough for us to speak out then we cannot be truly stigmatized by anyone."

Hey Media, It's Our Turn!
By KURT DOUGLAS SASS

"The media has come a long way in showing minorities, women, mentally retarded individuals and gay persons in a much more honest and truthful light. It's about time they did the same for people with mental illness."

People with Borderline Personality Disorder, Suffering in the Shadows
By VALERIE PORR
"Within the New York City mental health community, a group of people remain in the shadows, stigmatized, misdiagnosed, inappropriately treated, misunderstood or ignored. These people suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)..."

And S/He Was Said To Have A Long History of Mental Illness
By KISHA HAMILTON
"To remain silent, means society can pretend we do not exist."

I'm Not Alone in Facing Stigma
By IRINA ORZEANU

"We consumers are the most influential segment of society in the combat against stigma through our daily struggles, self-advocacy as well as outstanding accomplishments and need to be at the forefront of the battle."

Photo Exhibit Shines Light of Day on Mental Illness
By CARL BLUMENTHAL

"Mike Campbell, the father of daughter Jaime, who has schizophrenia, claims, 'Because of our experience with Jaime's illness, I have discovered that my life is much richer.. I'd like to give a message of hope to other families like ours.'"

Stigma Alive & Well in NYC
By FRANKLYN ROBB

"However, despite NAMI, NMHA, and other organizations' effort to address stigma issues pertaining to the mentally challenged, Jim Reiser, the leader of NAMI's New York City affiliate's Media and Advocacy Group said, 'I would say that things haven't changed. Abusive language is still out there.on the whole, we have got a long way to go.' "

The Hierarchy of Mental Illness
By VANESSA FERNEY

"The truth is that you cannot judge a person by his or her diagnosis, and we mental health consumers should know better than that. If we judge each other, then you cannot blame the public for judging us as a group."

Scrutinizing New York's Periodicals for Stigma
By CHRISTINA BRUNI

"When [popular periodicals] write about a 'psycho,' they're writing about me," one advocate said.

Being Latina with Mental Illness
By BESS GARCIA
"[Families] might believe that [mental illness] may be a bad spirit in the house, a fault in the way the person was raised, drugs, a weakness in character.[rather] than something that came out of thin air with no warning sign or reason."

Seeing Miss New York State Talk about Depression
By LAURA GOODMAN

Miss New York, Jessica Lynch, inspired a high school student with her tale of recovery, and she tells of her inspiration in this article.

The New York Times and Insanity
By WILLIAM JIANG, MLS

"Stigma with regards to mental illness and crime seems to be as much a part of our society today as it was more than 150 years ago."

Poets Bust Stigma
BY CARL BLUMENTHAL

[From] Rae Unzicker's prose poem, 'To Be a Mental Patient'.To be a mental patient is not to die, even if you want to-and not cry, and not hurt, and not be scared, and not be angry, and not be vulnerable, and not to laugh too loud-because, if you do, you only prove that you are a mental patient even if you are not.."

Stigma is the Public's Fear and Our Own
BY KATHI BERKE

"You have to be proud of who you are."

Op Ed: Out of the Closet
BY BETH L. BLOCK

"The stigma that our society has attached to [mental illness] must be removed, just as it has been for previously misunderstood physical diseases. For if we neglect to do so, we are condemning innocent victims to endure society's ignorant disapproval: an unnecessary and unjust burden."

My Body and My Mind Were Transformed
BY KIM ELBERT

"I am not ashamed of having schizophrenia and a mood disorder and feel that the more we become advocates and stand up to the stigma we will win this battle."

Activities of the Coalition
BY DAVID L. GOURDINE, LONG ISLAND REGIONAL COORDINATOR, THE ALLIANCE EMPOWERMENT COALITION

"By engaging in self-help directives and by reducing any and all stigma related to mental health concerns, the Coalition has created a state-wide network of groups and currently provides a wealth of trainings."


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