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The Stigma of Mental Illness

The Stigma of Mental Illness

Hello friends,

Oxford Languages defines stigma as, “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” It defines stigmatization as, “the action of describing or regarding someone or something as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval.” Even the definitions make me cringe.

This week we’re going to watch a quick video about the stigmatization of mental illness: Ending the Stigma of Mental Illness (youtube.com). We can discuss personal or witnessed stigmatization of people with fragilities, especially mental illness, and even the stigmatization of families and loved ones of people with mental illness. This video is made by an organization co-founded by Glenn Close, “Bring Change to Mind” which is working to destigmatize mental illness.

Here is a link to an article that discusses mental health stigma

Mental Health Stigma and The Pandemic | Newport Academy

Our warm-up question for this week:

Tell us about a time when you felt stigmatized or witnessed it, for anything, i.e. age, gender, personality quirks… . 

Alex asked me to fill in for him this week, and we all know those are big shoes to fill. Here is the link, and it is the long kind as I don’t know how to make it short like Alex does. Please be patient with mistakes and hiccups. Hope to see you Thursday.

Deatley

Continuing to Challenge Our Assumptions

Continuing to Challenge Our Assumptions

Hello friends,

A couple of weeks ago we explored how culture can shape our assumptions about mental illness. This week we’ll explore a related topic: how behavior and mannerisms influence our assumptions about mental health and well-being. This is a good time to discuss this topic because as many of us know, the holiday season is a time when people can experience both “high highs” and “low lows” in mental health.

We’ll watch a brief but powerful video about checking in with others, which was developed in partnership with a mental health organization called Samaritans. Hopefully we’ll have a candid and compassionate conversation about our own experiences with mental health symptoms and how they are or are not understood by others.

Our warm-up question for this week:

Describe your favorite dish from Thanksgiving in mouth-watering detail. Bonus points if you also describe an “epic fail” dish!

See you soon,
Alex

It’s Who You Talk to That Counts

It’s Who You Talk to That Counts

Hello friends,

This week we’re going to focus on two different but related stories about the power of talking to others. In the first, we hear how a university professor came to discover that even brief, casual exchanges with others are an antidote to loneliness and a building block in our well-being.

We’ll follow that up with a couple of brief excerpts from a video about “collective illusion,” a phenomenon where false beliefs about society are shared by many people within that society. We’ll focus on the section about social media and how our “offline” interactions have become a critical counterbalance.

Our warm-up question for this week:

Tell us about someone people tend to overlook, but who you know is special.

See you soon,

Alex