The problem is not simply the presence of a mental illness in an individual’s life; rather, it is how society responses to the individual’s different view of living and functioning in the world.
How ‘healthy’, ‘normal’, and ‘deficientcy’ is defined ,and perpetuated, in society greatly impacts an individual’s perception of themselves, their interactions with others, and how the societal structures assist or inhibit the person’s process of recovery.
Whether you are a student, professional, or experiencing the daily realms of stress in your life, these tips are helpful.
How has mental illness impacted your family? Whether are you have the diagnosis personally or if you are a family member and friend of someone who does, you are still impacted, in some way, by mental illness. A wonderful friend of mine, brought these amazing resources to my attention. I would like to share them with you and provide you with the opportunity, as well, to become involved and share your story.
I highly encourage EVERYONE to participate in sharing their story regarding mental illness. Even if you have not been a diagnosis, just sharing your challenges with others can provide a feeling of camaraderie with those who share similar experiences. We can begin to understand the immense of strength that we own by hearing others’ stories & sharing our own.
The first opportunity is sharing your story on the radio:
If you would like to share your story with 89.3 KPCC, a radio station, please click on this link: http://www.scpr.org/network/questions/mi. After clicking on this link, there will be text boxes for you to share your story with the world. A KPCC radio journalist will respond to you by email.
The second opportunity is to participate in a campaign called “I Will Listen” (iwilllisten.org). The campaign is based in New York by NAMI, but has sent ripples throughout the country. By visiting this site, viewers will be able to watch hundreds of videos of ordinary people and celebrities share their stories of how mental illness has impacted their lives.
A link for the NY Times newspaper article about the “I Will Listen” campaign: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/02/business/media/a-campaign-urges-listening-to-those-torn-by-mental-illness.html
The way we get rid of the stigma is coming together and sharing our courageous stories about how we are impacted my mental illness. Mental illness is an issue that we are all experiencing on some level, every day of our lives. Luckily, you don’t have to experience it alone.
SHARE YOUR STORY
This quote hits the core of social work in a minimal way, in my opinion. As the governmental shutdown continues and the number of vulnerable individuals increase, (due to the amount of poverty, oppression, and covert discrimination that is embedded within our society’s systematic functioning), we, as social workers, become even more critical in providing empowerment and hope to those we interact with daily. However, changing peoples’ lives also occurs by advocating for individuals on a community and macro level. The part of this quote that I disagree with is, “When we are no LONGER able to change a situation…”. As social workers, we CAN change situations by effectively touching the lives of our clients and advocating for, and with, our clients at a communal and legislative level. Social workers SHOULD NOT allow our society’s current financial and political situation impinge our ability to remain effective. Social workers SHOULD NOT accept the current situations of their clients or the system that perpetuates a person’s unfortunate circumstances. We, social workers, have the skills and capability to change not only the lives of our clients, but also remain influential in the communities and greater environments of our clients.