#BAD2014 Blog Action Day 2014 – #Inequality In Mental Health

Wendy of the blog Picnic with Ants (picnicwithants.com) describes her life as “a journey learning to live a happy and productive life, while living with Chronic Illnesses.” Today for the Blog Action Day theme of inequality, she wrote this incredibly powerful piece about her experience having been involuntarily hospitalized. She concludes by asking:

  • Can you see how different it would have been for me if I had the financial means to pay for a higher quality facility, and have an advocate help me?
  • Can you see how different it would have been for me if I had not had the financial means I had? If I hadn’t had insurance? …
  • What can we do to stop the Inequality in the Mental Health Care System?
  • The first thing we can do is talk about it.
  • The more attention we call to it….the more noise we make about it…they will have to do something about it!
  • …this is an inequality that must end!  People cannot continue to suffer because they can’t afford mental health care.

Picnic with Ants

Blog badgeI admit I had not heard of Blog Action Day until yesterday.  I left a comment on fellow blogger Kitt O’Malley’s blog and she told me that it was worthy of a post for this year’s theme Inequality.  Kitt is an amazing mental health advocate, please go and check out her blog.  Kitt O’Malley – Living with Bipolar. Loved by God.

Inequality and Access to Mental Health Care

Sometimes you need help.  You may or may not want it.  You are a risk to yourself or others.  A stay in a psychiatric facility is needed.  The care you receive will vary drastically depending on your financial means.

This is my story…..a 30 something white woman, with not the best insurance, with no savings, and no other financial support….

I was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility, I was suicidal. I had called a Suicide Help Line and was talked…

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Inequalities and Mental Health: Blog Action Day

Video about #MentalIllness and #Inequality reposted from the blog of Bipolar, Unemployed, and Lost (bipolarunemployedlost.com) for #BlogActionDay.

Bipolar, Unemployed & Lost

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Mental Health #Inequality #BlogAction14

Blog Action Day October 16, 2014 Let's talk about #Inequality

Structural factors such as poverty, inequality, homelessness, and discrimination contribute to risk for mental disability and impact negatively on the course and outcome of such disabilities. A human rights approach to mental disability means affirming the full personhood of those with mental disabilities by respecting their inherent dignity, their individual autonomy and independence, and their freedom to make their own choices.

~ Jonathan Kenneth Burns

Thank you, Jonathan Kenneth Burns, for writing “Mental health and inequity: A human rights approach to inequality, discrimination, and mental disability,” an excellent journal article published in Health and Human Rights. Jonathan Kenneth Burns, MBChB, MSc, FCPsych, is Senior Lecturer and Chief Specialist Psychiatrist in the Department of Psychiatry at the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

What he has to say is well worth reading. Check out his whole journal article.

Abstract
Mental disability and mental health care have been neglected in the discourse around health, human rights, and equality. This is perplexing as mental disabilities are pervasive, affecting approximately 8% of the world’s population. Furthermore, the experience of persons with mental disability is one characterized by multiple interlinked levels of inequality and discrimination within society. Efforts directed toward achieving formal equality should not stand alone without similar efforts to achieve substantive equality for persons with mental disabilities. Structural factors such as poverty, inequality, homelessness, and discrimination contribute to risk for mental disability and impact negatively on the course and outcome of such disabilities. A human rights approach to mental disability means affirming the full personhood of those with mental disabilities by respecting their inherent dignity, their individual autonomy and independence, and their freedom to make their own choices. A rights-based approach requires us to examine and transform the language, terminology, and models of mental disability that have previously prevailed, especially within health discourse. Such an approach also requires us to examine the multiple ways in which inequality and discrimination characterize the lives of persons with mental disabilities and to formulate a response based on a human rights framework. In this article, I examine issues of terminology, models of understanding mental disability, and the implications of international treaties such as the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for our response to the inequalities and discrimination that exist within society — both within and outside the health care system. Finally, while acknowledging that health care professionals have a role to play as advocates for equality, non-discrimination, and justice, I argue that it is persons with mental disabilities themselves who have the right to exercise agency in their own lives and who, consequently, should be at the center of advocacy movements and the setting of the advocacy agenda.
~ http://www.hhrjournal.org/2013/08/29/mental-health-and-inequity-a-human-rights-approach-to-inequality-discrimination-and-mental-disability/