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Tuesday
Feb122013

DISCUSSION #3: ARE YOU UP TO TALK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH?

I am a long-run advocate for mental health promotion, policies to fight stigma and to increase access to effective mental health services. This is a beautiful article posted today at The Seattle Times:

Op-ed: Changing how we talk about mental illness | Opinion | The Seattle Times

This article is especially beautiful because bring the topic in the perspective of a person that uses mental health services.  The voice of those who uses mental health services is as important as the voice of specialists and policy makers.  They are as much stakeholders as any others.  Moreover, anyone may fall into a situation in which will experience some mental illness.  For instance and in the past decades, statistics (particularly based on research from the World Health Organization) have shown that about 25% of the world population suffers from some kind of mental illness.  Mental health is part of health and it will not hurt to have more information on it.  Let's remember the unfortunate time when cancer or AIDS, for example, carried stigma: we have improved a lot after overcoming social barriers, investing on research, producing knowledge, and offering more efficient treatments. Let's open our minds to mental health and launch a time in which we will have plenty of dialogue and cooperative attitudes. 

Hope to see more of this kind of article in a short period, which, I am sure, will contribute to a better mental health system.  As a personal contribution, I invite the reader to visit my website and access my last publication "Understanding Mental Health Policies: How do Stakeholders Address the Implementation Gap?" (Readers may access this publication in this website, in Articles). This publication is my master thesis and will probably not be as beautiful and short as the article written by Alan Taylor! But, from my thesis, based on research in Brazil, in 2008, and more specifically discussing how stigma may impact psychosocial rehabilitation, I would like to reinstate "... stigma and prejudice negatively impact social and political support and therefore play an important role in shaping how societal responses contribute to implementation gaps in psychosocial policies."

Let's all make a difference!

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