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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

GNIF Brain Blogger » Mental Health Stigmatization: A Report of the GNIF

"In recent decades, societal conceptions of mental health and mental illness have evolved significantly. Compared to prevailing attitudes of the early 1900’s, the general public and scientific community alike have become much more aware and knowledgeable of mental illness: its causes, severity, prevalence and treatments [1]. With increased basic and clinical research into the fields of mind, brain and behavior, more effective and accessible treatments for all types of disorders may soon be realized.

However, all the efforts and successes of the scientific community are critically undermined by the presence of a persistent, widespread societal stigma against mental illness. An afflicted individual suffers the additional burden of being stereotyped as violent, different from “normal” people, unstable, unreliable, beyond medical help, weak, or responsible for his or her condition [2, 3]. In the 1999 report on mental health by the U.S. Surgeon General, stigma was identified as the single largest barrier to future progress in reducing the disease burden of mental illnesses [1]."