STIGMA OR POSSIBLY DISCRIMINATION? by Howard Diamond

Why can’t we all get along? Why cant we treat each other fairly?

Why can’t we stop these killings? Why can’t we share planet Earth?

Why, why, why, why?  Many good questions, plus many more answers.

Sorry, I am not going to give solutions here. Not for me to do. However,

instead I will discuss STIGMA or possiblyDISCRIMINATION

Read on, yes read on and enjoy.

Probably a good way to start this conversation is by telling each of their 

basic definitions. STIGMA is when someone sees one differently because 

of their mental illness. And now for DISCRIMINATION, it is when someone 

treats and or does something negatively to another individual just because

they have mental illness. Sounds similar, but they are not the same. Trust 

me, they are similar. Please continue.

With growing numbers of violent acts and social injustices occurring now, 

many of us label a criminal as “crazy.”  Although a person might have mental 

illness, to put that label on an individual creates a bad image for everyone who

lives with a mental illness each day. Yes, that is STIGMAIn reality, someone 

that deals with their mental issues are more likely to be a victim of a violent crime,

then to be an aggressor in a violent crime. By calling any person “crazy” can and

does spread a stereotypical environment that creates STIGMA between the

Criminal Justice System and the Mental Health System.

DISCRIMINATION comes in a variety of fashions. Whether it be someone

getting selected by a college of university, or choosing the best person

for employment, there is DISCRIMINATION.Lookfolks this still prevails

all over our society. One might think that mental health care with its myriad 

of services and medications are not immune. Pun intended. See what I think

leads many offenders that deal with some sort of mental illness to a life of

stealing and killing is closer to the reason why many individuals are either 

underemployed or unemployed. Once again, it is our good friend

DISCRIMINATION. 

Of course, this is not really a friend of mine at all. Up until lately one might

think DISCRIMINATION did not occur as often. But it did happen. Even

once is too much. Now we see why it’s not a friend of mine. Both terms,

STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION need to be eradicated from our cultures,

once and for always!  It’s a long process, but we need to accomplish this so

we can continue our trip towards Mental Health and Wellness. Every journey

begins with one step. Like what Neil Armstrong stated as he stepped on the

Moon surface fifty one years ago, ” That’s one small step for man, one giant 

leap for mankind”. Of course, what was true on the Moon (and on Earth) back

then, is true on the Earth today. Probably, still true on the Moon, too.

What do you say my fellow earthlings? Is it worth our time and effort? I will 

attempt to do my part. What about EVERYONE else? Remember, I’m going

to find out. STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION need to be removed from our

thinking once and for all! Remember, one person makes a difference, two 

persons make a couple of differences and so on and so on. In my next article 

about STIGMA and DISCRIMINATION,  I will attempt to explain how diverse 

media affects the two concepts. Till then, stay safe, stay well. 

See you in the News Blogs.

🥊

——-

Howard Diamond lives in Long Island, New York.  Howard is a New York State Certified Peer Specialist.  He enjoys writing and contributes written pieces regularly to the Well-Being EXchange.

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