We have many preconceptions about mental illness that we may or may not be aware of—who it affects, what it looks like, how it should be addressed—that are ingrained in us through the images we see, the voices that get (or don’t get) elevated, and the many other ways in which mental health is represented in our society. These preconceptions can make it a lot harder for some people to get the help they need when facing mental health challenges because they invite stigma, intentionally or otherwise.
This can be especially true for people in cultures where mental illness is not yet widely regarded as a treatable illness, for men who have been trained to suppress emotions to avoid projecting weakness, and for people of faith who have been taught that seeking help “apart” from God is a betrayal of religious conviction. In today’s conversation we’re going to hear from one person for whom this was the reality of seeking help for mental illness. Some questions to consider as you watch this 9-minute video:
- Do we have an assumption about what “being mentally ill” looks like? How has that changed over time?
- What role does culture play in determining who does or doesn’t get help for mental illness?
- Do we have a problem with mental illness education and awareness being overly represented by people from some cultures or backgrounds?
- What preconceptions do we have about mental health that intentionally or unintentionally create stigma?
Our warm-up question for this week is more of an activity than a question:
Choose one person in the discussion and tell us something you appreciate about that person. The more specific you can be, the better!
See you soon,