Sunday, December 12, 2010
Addressing Stigma in a Commercial
What do you think about the commercial?
I was wondering and getting upset at the fact that I have not found any commercials about mental health and then I found this one. I think it is a great commercial because it focuses on the things people living with a diagnosis endure- stigma. Stigma is misunderstanding, lack of information, prejudice, and discrimination like in the workforce or in housing. I like this commercial because it paints a realistic picture of what life can be like for some of us living with a diagnosis.
In fact, just the other day in group a friend of mine was bringing up his concern about job hunting. He said that he called a retail store and asked someone if they were hiring, the employee replied, "you cannot work you get disability." Comments like that are so ignorant, and upsetting. First, of all not everyone living with a mental health diagnosis is on disability. Second, even if someone is on disability they can still work if they choose to.
It reminds me of my own experience with discrimination...I was looking for a room to rent and found one near my school. Everything was going smooth till we discussed my income. After my potential landlord asked me why I get SSI, I told her I have schizophrenia. Then she explained to me that the house was not a good fit for me because my potential roommate may talk too much and may cause unnecessary stress to me. Lesson Learned! Never specify the illness to justify the income. Eventually I found a home and did not disclose reason for my source of income and I didn't have any problems with the landlord and roommates.
To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, Inc., the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).