The Stigma Of Mental Illness Essay

2091 words - 9 pages

Corrigan argues that clinical diagnosis might exacerbate the stigma of mental illness. In Corrigan’s study clinical diagnosis adds groupness for the collection of people with mental illness which worsens the level of prejudice (Corrigan 34). Corrigan states that this ultimately leads to overgeneralization, as there is an assumption that all individuals diagnosed with the same mental disorders behave the same way (Corrigan 34). According to Corrigan the stereotypic description of mental illness perceives to the public that, people with diagnosis are not likely to recover from those disorders, which can lead to pessimistic attitudes from the public (Corrigan 35). Corrigan suggests that one of the solutions is to understand the diagnosis dimensionally rather than the traditional categorical diagnosis (Corrigan 36). Another solution Corrigan suggests is for the mental health providers to have individual contact with people who are recovered from mental disorders as they are living a life that challenges the stigma (Corrigan 36). The final solution Corrigan suggests is to replace assumptions of “poor prognosis with models of recovery” (Corrigan 37). Corrigan mainly focuses on the stigma of mental illness in independent living and work settings. One might wonder how the stigma of mental illness can influence in university settings, where the average age of people influenced is younger than people in work settings. Universities must use variations of education and contact in their initiatives in order to effectively reduce the stigma of mental illness.
This paper will examine the strategies of universities countering the stigma of mental illness and its effectiveness. I begin with the consequences and the cause of stigma of mental illness explained by Corrigan. Then, I examine the three general strategies universities use to counter stigma of mental illness: education, contact and protest. Third, I further examine the effectiveness of these strategies. Finally I will conclude with limitations and recommendations for professionals.
According to Corrigan clinical diagnosis exacerbate the stigma of mental illness by promoting groupness, “homogeneity of group membership” (Corrigan 34) and “stability of group descriptors” (Corrigan 35). Groupness promotes people with mental illness to feel a sense of differentness from the population which promotes self-stigma and it effects their self-esteem negatively (Corrigan 34). Corrigan states that it distinguishes people who are somehow different in terms of their psychiatric status from the general population (Corrigan 34). As the clinical diagnosis increase the sense of “groupness” strengthens the stereotypes associated with the mental illness (Corrigan 34). According to a study by Link as commented by Corrigan, members of the general public were likely to stigmatize a person labeled mentally ill even the absence of any aberrant behavior (Corrigan 34). Another factor that worsens the stigma of mental illness is...

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