What works to reduce discrimination?

Graham Thornicroft

in Shunned

Published on behalf of ©Graham Thornicroft

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780198570981
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754463 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

What works to reduce discrimination?

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So far we have considered three key issues in relation to mental illness: lack of knowledge (ignorance), negative attitudes (prejudice) and rejecting behaviour (discrimination). We have seen how these forces operate in relation to home life, family, personal relationships, work, neighbours, in leisure and social life and in healthcare. In the final chapter we shall turn to the question of what needs to be done by all of us to reduce these destructive influences. In this chapter we consider what can be done by people with mental illnesses themselves. It is tempting to see ignorance, prejudice and discrimination simply as what are ‘done to’ service users and consumers, but this is unhelpful for two reasons. First, as we saw in, stigmatisation is applied by people with mental illnesses to themselves as well as applied to them by others. Second, accepting the role of passive victim to stigma and discrimination is not one that assists recovery from mental illness and its consequences. So this chapter will outline what can be done by consumers and service users to cope with and minimize these forces.

Chapter.  10773 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry

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