Mental Health and Culture

The idea of health equity and disparities ranges across many different themes. In this post I focus on my recent work with mental health and my observations.

In my opinion the stigmas surrounding mental health are mainly caused by fear and culture. People fear those with mental illnesses because they are afraid that they will be violent towards them and hurt them. Furthermore, Culture plays a big role in stigmas with mental health because cultures look at mental illnesses differently. There are cultures in which mental illnesses are embraced and treated and others where they are downplayed because they have negative attitudes about it. In some religions mental illnesses are seem as a sin, or the suffers and their families may be blamed for the suffering due to something they did and looked down on.

Some common factors that can be seen that contribute to the lack of help that some ethnic or social economic groups receive for metal health include homelessness, low educational attainment and poor eating habits. All of these are linked to poverty which may lead to vulnerability and insecurity which may contribute to mental health illnesses.

I hope to look closer at the link between socio economics and resources that are available mainly for mental health but other things regarding wellness.

Links to NYC mental health project: http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a40966/flony-we-need-to-end-the-stigma-around-mental-health/

Link to article regarding culture and mental health needs: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/body-mind/health/cultural-differences-mental-health

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