Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Stigma of Mental Health....Can we change it?

As a Family Doctor, when I use the phrase “people with a Mental Health issue", I wonder sometimes on how this is perceived by the public?

Is it people in straitjackets?
Is it people who are “mad” or psychotic?
Is it people who are “crazy”?
Is it people who are totally dysfunctional?

This is the very “Stigma” which Iam trying to change through education.

In my mind, everyone has some degree of Mental Health issue just like everyone has some degree of Physical Health issue eg a sore toe or those intermittent headaches. It is a matter of degree.

By reducing “stigma”, Iam hopeful that people will seek help earlier and then, hopefully, a better outcome can be achieved.

Food for thought.....

Dr Vin Tran
MBBS FRACGP Qld Australia