Masters
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Health Sciences & Medicine
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Mental health issues have been around us as long as there has been a semblance of civilisation. While many of the stigmas and social issues connected with mental health have been overcome by society, a lot remains to be done before we can arrive at a position that provides optimal care for mental health patients without stigmatising them or lowering their worth…

Introduction


Happell (2005) describes an incident, during which she experienced a derogatory remark for a patient suffering from mental health issues. She reports that, "The remark, which was made in an official capacity, questioned, perhaps even refuted, one of the most basic human rights for people diagnosed with a mental illness" (Happell, 2005) and that the remark infuriated her. Considering that the words were coming from a nurse, who had been involved with handling mental health patients, it prompted an examination of how negative stereotypes and stigmatisation of mental health patients continued despite legal barriers.
The indignation of mental health professionals and nurses over the discrimination and stigma attached to their patients is certainly well placed but the reasons for the stigma itself are many and complex. It is a matter of concern and some disappointment that in spite of all the progress made by our society, there are still problems which remain when it comes to dealing with and presenting patients, who have mental health problems. Wherever the blame for the stigma associated with mental health patient lies, it has to be accepted, that there is a problem which needs to be dealt with. ...
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