Friday, October 5, 2007


Stigma will be an important topic for the essay papers. The lecture on stigma on Blackboard from March is a good starting point for reading about the topic. Stigma has been a common theme that has run through most of the lectures on Thursdays. From the stigma associated with suicide, and the stigma associated with mental illness which helps prevent people from seeking help for mental distress and thereby contributes to suicide, to the particular stigma for mental illness among minority groups such as travellers and refugees/asylum seekers (these are groups that are already to some degree stigmatised by the wider society), stigma has recurred. In the next series of lectures there will be presentations on psychiatry in a developing world setting and a historical perspective, which will further illuminate the topic of stigma.

Ultimately, stigma is an individual experience - look at the stigma presentation and be clear about the distinction between "felt" stigma and "enacted" stigma. Much "felt" stigma comes from the wider social and cultural attitudes to madness and rationality, but it is important to remember that stigma is experienced by individuals. So try and relate the topics on the course to the individual experience of people with mental illness.

This paper might be worth looking at :

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