Mental Health and Society Stigma
Merissa R. Lynch
Ivy Tech Community College
The audience for this essay are fellow students of this English 111 course and the instructor of the course, Professor Heather Burford. This assignment is allowing fellow classmates to have read the same article or another from the selection about similar topics. This will not only allow for varied views from other authors on the topic, but will also allow for varied views from fellow students, based on their knowledge of the topic through possible personal experience or previous research. The levels of knowledge will differ from student to student, but there should be some baseline knowledge on the topic based on current society. The topic is pertinent and relatable as society has been overwhelmed with the topic’s predicament in recent years. This response should facilitate the students of this class with understanding the importance of the topic, evaluating and formulating their own opinion on the topic and achieving a better understanding of the topic and its immediate need for addressing and rectifying the current dilemma in society. The medium being employed is a formal academic manuscript. The purpose of this essay is to respond to and share the writer’s opinion of the article chosen by the writer. Additionally, a summarization of the article read will be provided.
The essay is going to discuss mental health and its place in society, as well as how society reacts to meeting the needs of the mentally ill. The essay will present a summarization of the article read. Additionally, a response to the article will be presented with the writer’s views and opinions related to the topic of mental health and society’s children.
Discussion and Summarization
The article was to inform the audience about the mental health concern in society today. The article focuses on a mother’s experiences with her teenager who has an undiagnosed mental disorder. Specifically, the author’s many battles with trying to seek help for her and her son because of the results of his mental disorder. The author describes her son’s rage along with his erratic violence and her lack of direction and support with alleviating his mental disorder behaviors and the pain experienced by her son, herself and her other children. She provides a vivid image of what she sees, “His face turned cold, and his eyes were full of calculated rage” (Long, 2012).
She elaborates on the shortcomings of our society with correcting and managing mental health patients and their needs. How has society been able to turn such a blind eye to the needs of society’s children? How has society managed to make all the mass shootings at the hands of mentally ill children about gun control, rather than about affectively treating and preventing these children from falling into the trap of partaking in these horrific acts. The author specifically discusses a conversation with her son’s social worker about what can be done, “he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime” (Long, 2012). The author continues by providing statistics and data to support the recent increase in incarcerations for mentally ill persons rather than through a proper treatment facility. The author shares her opinion, “the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people” (Long, 2012).
The author discusses the children and mothers who are effectively forgotten about and forced into helplessness because of the stigma associated with mental illness and the lack of proper treatment options for the mentally ill in the United States and society at large. The mental health epidemic in this age and society is allowing the loss of society’s children. Children are being sacrificed due to budget cuts and the mental health stigma that exists. She states, “No one wants to send a 13-year old genius who loves Harry Potter and his snuggle animal collection to jail” (Long, 2012). She as a mother and author is pleading with the audience to wake up, react, and not only react, but react in an effective and educated manner. She states, “God help me. God help Michael. God help us all. (Long, 2012)”
Responding to an article so deeply heart-felt and painful is a difficult task. As a person who is afflicted with a mental disorder and as a teenager trying to navigate her way through this society, the writer can truly relate to the hardship of receiving help once it is sought after. The idea that at any given moment this could be the writer herself, causes an immediate agreeance and desperation for mental disorders to no longer be stigmatized and for real, and effective change to take place. While the writer’s mother read this article, she began to weep, knowing from first-hand experience that this is a true and imperative topic for change.
The author’s desperation was so real, yet unheard. A mother’s final plea is help. How can that be? A mother being asked to have her son charged with a crime to incarcerate him as his only treatment option, what kind of burden and heartache must she feel. The inner turmoil of protecting her son or protecting her son. When both options are supposedly to protect her son, but are so different in nature and in efficacy, how does she decide? The author as well as the writer believe that those options are not acceptable, there need to be real, person-centered, healthful options for mental health treatment of all patients, including society’s children. Society must change its approach, and society needs to swiftly change or there will continue to be a loss of innocence that it cannot afford.
In conclusion, the author as well as the writer believe that those options are not acceptable, there need to be real, person-centered, healthful options for mental health treatment of all patients, including society’s children. Society must change its approach, and society needs to swiftly change or there will continue to be a loss of innocence that it cannot afford. Mental disorders are not a stigma, a death sentence, or a determinate on how life will be lived, but rather an obstacle that society must learn to manage and promote the blossoming of society’s mentally ill persons, to support a beautifully different tomorrow.
Long, L. (2012). ‘I Am Adam Lanza’s Mother’: A Mom’s Perspective On The Mental Illness Conversation In America. The Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.cengage.com/custom/static_content/OLC/ s76656_76218lf/long.pdf.