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Socio-Political Factors and Influence Mental Health - Essay Example

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Socio-Political Factors and Influence Mental Health

Some of these factors include race, culture, ethnicity, gender, social class, and other similar factors. This double burden is referred to as double stigma (Corrigan et al. 2004; Rowe 2005). The double stigma does not only perpetuate the self-depreciation that patients experiences, but it also fortifies the public stigma that is manifested in the forms of discrimination, prejudice, and stereotyping against mentally ill patients. In this effect, double stigma heightens the negative impact of stigma that mentally ill patients experience. Recognising the seriousness of the condition, this study will answer the question how socio-political factors may influence mental health? In attempting to answer the question, the study will focus only on one socio-political factor – ethnicity. This acts as a form of limitation and the focus needed in addressing the query of the study. Ethnicity is now used to indicate, “the different and unequal experiences of social groups with specific social attributes such as language, religion, and dress codes” (Giddens & Sutton 2010, p. 136). Ethnicity is necessary because it is one of the foundations of a person’s worldview (Sue & Sue 2003; Sumari & Jalal 2008). The motivation behind choosing ethnicity over other socio-political factors is the fact that one of the key aspects of contemporary society is pluralism and ethnicity is its concrete reality. In a pluralistic society, there is the increasing tendency that the minority group is viewed from the perspective of the majority group as they cohabit within the same physical space. This creates pressure since there are mark distinctions among ethnic groups. In this regard, ethnicity is pivotal in mental health because of the double stigma that patients in the minority group are experiencing. Its negative impact will continue if it is not consciously address. In addressing the problem of this study, the answer is drawn both from the experience of the service user and scholarly journals and books dealing with the issue of ethnicity and mental health. The Response Mental health practitioners have the ethical and moral obligation to respect the cultural context from where the patient is coming (Trimble & Fisher 2006). The increasing multicultural diversity of patients with mental illness increases the responsibility of mental health practitioners in providing the venue wherein the patient’s cultural heritage is included as an integral component in formulating accessible and quality therapy for the patient (Sue & Sue 2003). Nonetheless, it has been observed, there appears to be a gap between the theoretical knowledge of the role of ethnicity and the empirical belief justifying that health care providers have to respect the reality of ethnicity, since some practitioners are reluctant to modify their current practises to accommodate ethnicity (Griner & Smith 2006). This situation amplifies the double stigma among ethnic groups. The Western Approach of Self-Disclosure. P A, an Asian and one of the patients in the Community Health Centre, shares, “I do not understand why I have to tell somebody my fears, my thoughts, my delusions. It is a secret. There are people that I know back in my old country who were tied to a tree or made to live in pigpens because they talk about it, ...Show more


Socio-Political Factors and mental Health Introduction Mental illness is a debilitating disease that is embedded with the stigma attributed to it (Centre for Social Justice 2011; Corrigan 2004; Corrigan & Penn 1999). Stigma is a “collection of negative attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, and behaviours that influences the individual, or the general public, to fear, reject, avoid, be prejudiced, and discriminate against people with mental disorders” (Gary 2005, p…
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