November 22, 2019

I most of them have prejudice against mental illness

       I would like to express my deep concern in
regards to the article: A New Generation of Therapists Is Fighting
Asian-American Mental Health Stigma published on 11th October 2017 by Ms. Rosalie Chan. After reading Rosalie Chan’s thoughts on the
Asian-American
mental health stigma, I would like to
give out some of my
opinions and suggestions, thus I hope that you will be able to emphasize the root
cause of mental health stigma, the seriousness of ignoring mental health due to
stigma, more ways of helping people with mental illness and will be publishing
more related articles about mental health stigma.

       Culture beliefs are shackles of people with mental
illness. The only way to break free from this constrains lies with patients
themselves and their families’ supports. Chan mentioned this in her article,
“Asians
are 3 times less likely than whites to ask for mental health help.” As we also see from the patients that Chan
interviewed in the article, most of them are constrained by Asian
cultural perspectives and beliefs, hindering their treatment. However, in the article, Chan did not explicitly
tell what the cultural concepts are. As a Chinese, I would like to share to you
what I
understand about how
Chinese culture can cause mental health stigma. Many Asians have a deep concern on
saving face. Most
are reluctant
to let others know about
their family scandals. They also have high
expectations
to live
a flawless life and pursue
a bright future. On top of that,
most of them have prejudice
against mental illness and view it as a humiliation that can
harm the family name and personal reputation. Therefore, many may choose to
hide their mental problems to maintain their own dignity, so that they will not
be labelled,
isolated or discriminated against. We can see that, the long-held cultural dogma and concept are sources
of mental health stigma and the stigma often begins from the mental illness
sufferers themselves or their families. Therefore, I suggest them to be brave
in breaking down their self-stigma through trying to view and think about mental
illness in positive perspective: Without treatment, patients would suffer
serious or dangerous consequence. With a poor physical and mental health, how
can they be able to achieve their flawless life and seek for their better
future?

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       Family members are the closest people to
us, so that relatives’ intervention is a vital element in aiding the patient’s first
step to recovery. Regrettably, in the article Sandy Tran and Hobro are both
ignored by their parents, when they told their parents that they felt mentally
ill. Their parents view this as a trivial issue as they do not recognise how
serious the consequence will be on their children’s both physical and mental
condition if they ignore mental illness. Although I do respect the ideals of
the Chinese culture, I also wish that families of the patients can jump out of
the cultural constrain openly, initiatively and rationally, they should pay close
attention on mental health problems and encouraging the patients to open up
their feelings.

       Hiding mental problem is like concealing
a giant stone in heart, the patients will not only live an unhappy life, long-lasting
psychological consequences, including anxiety, depression, loneliness or panic
will also bring them an unimaginable dangerous consequences. I would also like to elaborate
and further emphasize the gravity of harm that will lead by hiding one’s
emotion which
Ms. Chan had also mentioned briefly about. Imagine
you will live to 80 years old, meaning that you will only live about
29,000 days. 29,000 days is a short time, if you refuse to seek help or receive
appropriate treatment because of the taboo of mental illness stigma and feel
shamed or guilty, then you are equal to waste your precious life, you will even
carry out disruptive
behaviours,
for example suicide.
According to the World Health Organization, “About 800,000 people
commit suicide every year, and up to 90% of suicide victims suffer from a
mental disorder.”
The evidence shows that mental illness should
not be neglected
and concealed. Hence, I hope that you will be able to publish more
related articles about the negative impacts of evading and ignoring seek for
treatment or despising
the harmfulness of mental illness. Thereby, patients and their
families will understand that if the patients did not seek for help, the family
scandals will be open to the public even though they do not want to.

       It is good
to hear that a
new generation of therapists is fighting Asian-
American
mental health stigma which was mentioned by Chan’s article. The
responsibility does not only lie on the therapist, but also on the patients’
family members, friends and the whole society. There are some suggestions that
I think can help decrease the severe stigma of mental illness. People having
mental illness often needs a companion in their recovering time, some of the best support
and help comes
from others who are experiencing similar challenges from local hospitals or
community mental health agency. It could also be beneficial to the people having
mental illness,
as listed in Chan’s article to host public workshops, health camps and
community outreach events that offer screenings and discussion of common
conditions like depression and substance abuse. I would
also like to suggest that
people with mental illness accompanied
by the family to join family leading programs, led by social
workers,
can help
families learn how to cope and adapt to this situation. On top of
that, therapist should inform their patient that their health history will
be enclosed. More can also be done for example online platforms,
hotlines
and advertisements.
In Hong Kong,
there are
advertisements about tackling discrimination which I
suggest should be widely used by governments featuring patients with
similar illness that had recovered from mental illness to allow everyone to understand that
mental illness is only a common disease as if physical sickness which is
nothing to be shameful about and at the same time let the mental illness
sufferers know
that they are not alone to fight this illness. As citizens make the future
of a country, it is not
just the responsibility of therapist but also the government’s
to support and bring the patients out of their mental illness. Also there
should be more promotion on the Equal Opportunity Association to let the
sufferers know that they are protected by laws and regulations where they can
get help, I
believe that through propaganda and education, by correcting the understanding
of mental illness can be raised, this gives the public a better understanding of how they can better
control and sooth their emotions as well as understanding what they can do to
help, support and accept people in need.

       As I had stated, the issue of mental
health is occurring globally. It is my view that mental health problem could be
soothed through acknowledging people and give them a better understanding of
mental health and at the same time eliminating the stigma that had been
intertwined in the sufferers’ mind. All of these can not
only reduce the amount of people developing mental stigma, but also aiding the
recovery of patients.

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