TED Conversations

Ben Maudlin

Registered Nurse, Prince of Wales Hospital

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How do we break down the Stigma attached to those people who have mental health or psychiatric issue?

Current research suggests that one in three people will develop a mental illness in their lives (WHO 2011). Psychiatry and psychological treatment is moving away from treating the disease and towards treatment of the patient as a person. Instead of a person being a "schizophrenic" they are now someone with schizophrenia. However this subtle adjustment hasn't translated into the general public. People still shy away from or are scared by people who are mentally unwell. This causes further isolation to a person and can remove some important social supports.


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  • Nov 30 2011: I'm so glad you asked this question because stigma is the single most barrier to recovery. People with mental illness internalize what people think and say about them making them feel bad about themselves. I am a recovery coordinator for the mentally ill and do a lot of public speaking and trainings on recovery. I teach doctors, residents, med students and mental health agencies about recovery. I've had four articles published on the matter in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzete and will continue to write on the subject. I've also done six videos on a recovery website and been published in two magazines. I hope you continue to do what you are doing in your community, it helps. I've had schizophrenia for over thirty years and have been symptom free for ten years, I spend all my time fighting stigma and teaching others about truth not hollywood. The media has done people like me a great diservice and should be helping to make it right but they are not. So we are left to educate society on our own and I have personally spoken to thousands over the last ten years and it will be my lifes work to continue. Keep up the good work.
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      Dec 1 2011: Thank you and if I do even manage to get a TEDxHealth conference together I will have to organise you to speak about the stigma that those with mental health issues have faced and continue to face.
      • Dec 1 2011: Thank you Ben for bringing awareness to the TED community.

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