The theme “Live. Learn. Share Hope” of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National Convention to be held June 27-30 in New Orleans provides an excellent launching pad to start a conversation regarding stigma as we live, learn and share hope about the people affected by mental illness.
Stigma, like so many of life’s experiences, can be as individual as the person experiencing it.
Are people with serious mental illness more prone to violence than the general population? In the aftermath of almost weekly mass shootings and other acts of extreme violence, this question inevitably emerges.
Perhaps there’s a good reason it took me until late June, LGBT Pride Month, to write this blog.
The fact is, as a gay man in 2017, I don’t feel proud; I feel anxious. As both a clinician and a consumer of behavioral health services, I’m in a unique position to appreciate why LGBT folks are increasingly nervous today.
It turns out that almost everything I was taught about suicide during my clinical training is not true.
Contrary to what most clinicians are taught, there is clinical protocol we can follow to prevent suicide attempts – apart from locking people up. Very little of this new knowledge about detecting and treating suicidality has translated into practice.
While not the first nation to assert the rights of gay couples, last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling is especially historic when considered against the backdrop of the 1969 Stonewall riots, considered to be the catalyst for the gay liberation movement, and the removal of “ego-syntonic homosexuality” from the list of disorders in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) in 1973. For American social (and legal) policy, this ruling came at lightning speed – within the Baby Boomer lifetime. Access to health care coverage is associated with improved health and lower mortality1 – improving both the health of the nation and the financial well-being of the health care system. So what does this mean for the health…