Mental Health Discrimination | Mental Health Statistics

Mental illness will affect 1 in 4 families in America. Moreover, almost 2 million or 2.8%, of adults within the U.S. possess some kind of severe mental illness. Severe mental illness involves stress associated brain disorders like chronic OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. According to mental health discrimination statistics, discrimination will be prevalent in spite of the massive amount of people who are affected with mental illness. One expert claims that individuals who have mental illness suffer from discrimination and prejudice due to them appearing deviant and will be ‘ill’ in a way which isn’t understood.

 

Mental health discrimination is a problem. Negative attitudes regarding mental illness were widespread through our history. In the past, society rejected people who had mental illness. Most assistant specialists have avoided offering services to people who have severe mental illness. Insurance providers do not offer enough payments for services in order to treat mental illness. As a matter of fact, most people who have mental illness have inadequate insurance, inequitable benefits or no insurance, whatsoever.

 

Most individuals who have mental illness are denied insurance and other people have limitations put on the quantity of benefits they could receive. Private health care and Medicare pay for fewer inpatient days in the hospital a year for people who have mental illness, as compared with those who have general health disorders (that is, cardiovascular disease and diabetes) who get unlimited or more inpatient days in the hospital.

 

Discriminatory practices also are discovered within outpatient care for people who have mental illness. Information from Bureau of Labor Statistics were assessed and the results uncovered that 89 percent of participants within the study, possessed some private outpatient coverage, but limits were put on the coverage like extra copayment charges, fixed dollar limits and higher deductibles.

 

Because people were experiencing mental health discrimination, the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was set up to wipe out discrimination against people who have disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a disability as (1) mental or physical impairment which significantly limits more than one of the major life tasks of such person; (2) record of this type of impairment; or (3) regarded as possessing impairment. A person who has a mental illness history would meet the 1st and 2nd criteria of having this type of impairment.

 

Even with ADA’s passage, people who have mental disabilities still will experience sociopolitical neglect and rejection. Experts state, ‘Our failure as a nation to handle sensibly — even humanely — this issue is a scandal which seems to surprise those precious few responsible for the carrying out of and making public policy, unfortunately.’

 

Changing the environment has assisted in improving the lives of the ones who have physical disabilities (that is, ramps have been constructed to offer wheel chair accessibility). However, society hasn’t offered accommodations for people who have mental illness due to them needing a unique social milieu in order to offset their disabilities. Brand new methods ought to be created to aid with mental health specialists in modifying the environment for people who have mental illness; adhering to the mandate by the ADA.

 

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Resistance to accommodations for people who have mental disabilities might be caused by the perceived cause of the disability. Experts imply that the willingness of society in order to attend to the necessities of people who have disabilities is influenced by factors like the perceived cause of their disability, economic conditions, body of clinical knowledge, sociocultural philosophy, as well as perceived threat of the disability circle to the community.

 

Furthermore, experts suggest that public funding and support depend upon whether the person could contribute to society. Experts say that public policy will be shaped by the attitudes of the members of society. Experts add that attitudes will mold behavior that influence public policy.

 

Negative attitudes will affect the probability of employment for people who have mental illness. Most people who have mental illness are able to contribute to society, yet job skill training often is required. One expert noted that a few people who have mental illness already have job skills, yet job training will differ depending upon the skills of the person and the kind of job wanted.

 

Other experts said that even though people who have mental illness are involved within federal mandates for vocational services, agencies for mental health have paid very little attention to their employment requirements. Experts claim that stereotyping includes a barrier to employment due to professionals and laypersons sharing the same attitudes regarding mental illness (that is, people who have mental illness are harmful, or ‘normalization’ of lifestyle isn’t feasible).

 

Stress only Exacerbates Mental Illness Symptoms

 

Severe mental illnesses are thought to be brain disorders which are exacerbated by stress. For instance, experts report that stressors within the environment might contribute to psychotic relapses within people vulnerable to schizophrenia. Socioenvironmental stressors like job discrimination or homelessness could precipitate relapse within an individual who has schizophrenia. A rise in the quantity of stressful life occasions has been discovered in the 3 to 4 week timeframe prior to relapse in a few individuals who have schizophrenia.

 

One expert discovered that prodromal signals of relapse might be existent in around 60% of people who have schizophrenia. Stressful life occasion frequencies were assessed in the months before relapse in eleven participants. Comparisons were performed with the life occasion frequencies of those same people during additional intervals where there was no relapse.

 

A substantially greater amount of life events was discovered within the month preceding relapse as compared to one month for the same people that didn’t precede a relapse. Furthermore, researchers studied 119 people who had chronic schizophrenia after hospital discharge and discovered that interpersonal stress included a substantial predictor for re-hospitalization.

 

Negative Attitudes Against People who have Mental Illness

 

Attitudinal barriers against people who have mental illness will increase stress, as well as precipitate relapse. Stereotypes often are maintained via the process of handicapism. Handicapism, one kind mental health discrimination, includes a set of practices and assumptions which endorse the differential treatment of people with disabilities. As a consequence of handicapism, people who have disabilities become isolated, that results in few chances to create friendships with those who don’t have disabilities. As a consequence, negative attitudes against people who have mental illness predominate.

 

One expert claims that most people possess a fear that people who have mental illness are harmful. As a consequence, negative public attitudes regarding mental illness are formed. Additionally, publicity of aberrant cases like the case of John Hinkley Junior, the person who attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan, portrayed people who have mental illness as a threat.

 

Furthermore, the stereotype was sustained by the media as mental illness is connected with violence in films like Silence of the Lambs. But, results from epidemiological information uncovered that mental illness rates aren’t proportional to rates of violence.

 

One expert discovered 3 variables which were more predictive of violence within individuals who have mental illness; history of violence, noncompliance with medicine, and substance abuse. But, these 3 variables often have been omitted as people who have mental illness are said to be more violent than people within the general population. The expert added that individuals who have alcohol and drug abuse issues as a whole, are more dangerous than those who have severe mental illness.

 

Sources:

 

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/disability.cfm

 

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission:http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/howtofile.cfm

 

National Institute of Mental Health:http://www.nih.gov/about/almanac/organization/NIMH.htm