Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fighting Shadows

from Mission Resource Site:

Fighting Shadows: Self-Stigma And Mental Illness:Whawhai Atu te Whakamâ Hihira incorporates the experiences of 76 men and women from around the country; including Pakeha, Maori, Pasifika, Chinese, young people and refugees.
This study, produced by the Mental Health Foundation was launched on 9th July, 2008.
It shows that "negative messages about mental illness in society shape and reinforce attitudes people hold toward themselves,” said Judi Clements, Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. “These attitudes hold people back from full participation in society, and create a cycle of internalised stigma, or ‘self-stigma’" 
Participants in the study described experiences of isolation, self-doubt, rejection by family and peers, and pessimism about their prospects of recovery.
However, participants also identified actions or ‘circuit-breakers’ to counter discrimination and negative thought patterns. These included: more visibility of people with mental illness, building peer support networks, affirming human rights, challenging negative attitudes, and encouraging mental health services to focus on recovery.
The full report can be read online. It's also available in book form, from the Mental Health Foundation.

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