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Mental Health Campaigns - Research Paper Example

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Mental health, according to W.H.O, is "a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community" (Mental Health, 2011). …
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Mental Health Campaigns
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Download file to see previous pages W.H.O also emphasizes the fact that mental health "is not just the absence of mental disorder”. Mental health denotes the cognitive or emotional well-being and the behavioral and thinking processes of people. Mental health is pivotal for an individual as it can affect the way a person think, feel and behave in any situation and can also negatively impact the quality of living, relationships and physical well-being of an individual.
It is estimated that about 20-25% of the population of every nation in the world suffer from a Mental or a neuropsychiatric disorder during their lifetime (Klin & Lemish, 2008, p. 2). Though a number of psychological health awareness initiatives and educational programs have attempted to improve mental health literacy among the public with the aim of improving recognition and help seeking and reducing stigma, only 20–35% of those people identified with mental disorder seek professional assistance (Klin & Lemish, 2008, p. 2).
Mental Health Literacy refers to "the ability to gain or access to, understand, and use information in ways which promote and maintain good mental health" (Chang, 2008, p. 1). Low mental health literacy of the people can accentuate the distorted health beliefs of the public that hinders the willingness of people identified with mental disorders from recognizing their symptoms and seeking professional help. The health beliefs of the public act as one of the main barriers to treatment participation or access to care. The stigma since is a social element that shape up the health beliefs of the public, can, therefore, prevent people from pursuing mental health services as they do not want to get labeled as "mental patient". The health beliefs of the public, formulated by the stigma, therefore, needs to be accurate and public health campaigns become essential to improve the mental health literacy of the public. This paper focuses on the stigmatization of mental health disorders and the analysis of the efficacy of entertainment-education utilized in public health campaigns. Stigmatization is “the process wherein one condition or aspect of an individual is attributionally linked to some pervasive dimension of the target person's identity” (Byrne, 2011). Stigma is a 'buzz word' and it is a mark of disgrace or discredit that sets a person aside from others and this negative aspect of an individual give a deviant identity to that person (Byrne, 2011). When marked as 'mentally ill', a psychiatric patient is objected to internal consequences such as secrecy, lower self-esteem and shame as well as the external consequences of social exclusion, prejudice and discrimination. The people identified with psychological disabilities are marginalized not only from the society but also from the development aid and government attention. Moreover, this group of people is vulnerable to the public stigmatization wherein they are imposed with the distorted images of violence, sin and laziness. Though there are modern methods of treatment for mental illness, the public believe that long-term hospital care is the only solution to mental illness. (Mental Health: Advocacy, 2011). In order to examine stigma associated with mental health, a measuring of public opinion about mental disorders becomes necessary as it can identify the levels of awareness, belief systems, fears and stereotypes related to mental disorders. But measuring public opinion, by focus groups or ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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