mental health

All posts tagged mental health

NO

Published June 5, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

#no2bullying #no2homophobia #no2suicide

On the news of another teen suicide due to homophobic bullying, it seems appropriate to make some comments. In clarifying, it is not clear whether the teen involved identified or not and no assumptions or implications are being made here. This is about our business in enabling kids to be who they are, unlike our detractors wanting to indoctrinate them through cohesion in conforming to some dated concept of gender identity.  We know the issues for the Rainbow Nation our susceptibility to bullying, mental health issues, substance misuse, and suicide.

Kids (25 & under), it matters not how they identify LGBQ, TT, I, SSA or Str8, that is not our business keeping them safe is our business. The point here is that all kids experience homophobic bullying no matter their gender identity and/or sexual ordination . This situation exists because of the narrow conceptualisation of gender or more precisely privileged masculinity as the default, which enforces compliance to  a specific set of social norms through bullying.

We know this from our individual and collective stories, this abuse in all its forms (i.e. physical, psychological and social) and the lingering deep emotional pain of rejection. Our expertise lies in the lived experience of bullying because of who we are young people seem more vulnerable to this violence. At a time in life full of discovery, confusion and contradiction, they face the excoriating pressure to conform or suffer social sanctions  and possible marginalisation.  In this time, some feel so isolated and disempowered they choose to act on their thoughts out of desperation resulting in their suicide.

This situation is not acceptable if we stand-by and let another young person bullied because of whom they are and is murdered because of the dysfunctional nature of gender. At some time as a society we need to draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough what do we value more an insipid idealized masculinity or our children. As a community, the Rainbow Nation has a greater stake here in addressing bullying, homophobia and suicide equally, because they represent our oppression, persecution and marginalisation. As individuals, we have a duty to make this a better place than when we arrived, to stand up against injustice, be a good neighbour and keep people safe.

Please if you are, experiencing suicidal thoughts or feel emotionally unwell follow this link  or call Lifeline on 131114 (in Aus).

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Welcome to the back of the bus

Published May 16, 2011 by Michael C Leeson

Mental Health –  experience of discrimination & stigma

In my cyber wanderings, I discovered Diagnosed Bipolar? Welcome to the Back of the Bus! this piece seeks to highlight the discrimination and  stigma people with a mental condition may experience in contemporary America.  The title reflects on the discriminatory practices of the past the forced African Americans to sit in the back of public bus services a form of apartheid or race segregation. It provides the reader with some insight on the perceived experiences of stigma by a person with a mental illness. The only disappointing point here is an attempt to argue about degrees of discrimination and the inference that other marginal groups may not experience the level of stigma that people with mental illness may.

My view is that to discriminate against one person is an injustice perpetrated against us all, there is no degree of discrimination that is why marginalised people need to meet the challenge and stand as one. People may experience discrimination based on number of arbitrary demographic divisions, what about the M-F transgender butch lesbian Black Muslim diagnosed with schizophrenia. I realise some may see this as an extreme example but I am hoping people get the message that issues of identity like discrimination are complex. Therefore, the focus here is on educating people to embrace social diversity with an open mind and in a respectful way to gain an understanding of each other in striving for a more just society.

Do people living with bipolar disorder experience stigma and discrimination

Bullying

Published October 5, 2010 by Michael C Leeson

The recent suicide related deaths of five teens in the US supposedly related to homophobic schoolyard bullying has wiped up a bit of a storm. In no way does this commentary seek to minimalize the human tragedy of suicide and especially that involving children for their family and the community. Rather on these occasions a gaggle of media personalities rush out to tell their story ably aided by mainstream media. Being a cynical old bastard, I tend to take these biographies with a shovel of salt with most of these people having not seen a schoolyard for quite a while. Homophobic bullying affects all children it controls their behaviour to ensure compliance with a limited view of gender identity that needs challenging. Especially, when homophobic bullying does not end at the schoolyard gate, as it is both codified and institutionalised

Do I give a damn YES I DO!

In my three years of secondary schooling, bullies targeted me every day of the week and staff offered no comfort let alone protection.  On some occasions, staff even blamed me for causing the abuse, which still confuses me to this day. I still experience anxiety issues, which often limit my social participation because I do not really trust people. I often hide behind roles, which provides structures that limit the nature of my interactions with others

Does it get better, yes as an adult I discovered my voice, realised,  I have choices and the views of others do not count as much as when I went to school.

Gay-To-Straight Therapy Repudiated By APA

Published August 6, 2009 by Michael C Leeson

Gay-To-Straight Therapy Repudiated By Psychologists

During the past two years a clinical research taskforce has complied a report on Conversion therapy, or reparative therapy. At its AGM, the American Psychological Association (APA) adopted the report’s findings and recommendations

Points made in article

  • mental health professionals should not tell gay clients they can become straight through therapy or other treatments.
  • research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.
  • “Both religious conservatives &  mental health professionals have to educate themselves better,”

Please read the article it provides some balanced commentary & of course the report.

When sharing this News on Twitter, I received comment ‘no shit’ from an associate, what this highlights is an animosity in the community to this practice. However, in adopting this position the APA seemingly gives qualified support to a widely held view that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice but an integrated aspect of the individual’s identity. However do not be mistaken the language used points more towards a centralist position.  This report states in general terms that there is no verifiable evidence existing that indicates reparative therapy achieves any change in an individual’s sexual orientation, as is the stated goal. If anything, those who undergo this process may experience significant psychological trauma. The APA uses a conciliatory tone, in seeking to state its hopes this report will calm “the polarized debate” between those who believe in the possibility of changing sexual orientation and the many that reject that opinion.  Rather than coming out and naming, this practice as psychological abuse as its own report indicates the APA seems to be playing politics in taking a ‘non-position’.