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The Stigma Struggle

The Stigma Struggle

This project is a requirement of the GOA Abnormal Psychology Course. Using the process of design thinking, a challenge in the world of mental health was identified, interviews and research were undertaken, and a solution prototype was developed. Below you will find information about the identified area of concern and my proposed solution. Please feel free to provide feedback on this prototype, using questions such as “How might we…”, “What if….?”, “I wonder….”, “I like…”, and “I wish.” Keep the comments positive, please. For more information on the process of Design Thinking, click here.

BACKGROUND:

I have always been fascinated with the world of psychology and mental illness, and I quickly realized the stigma that exists against the people that have them, through seeing it and experiencing it. The stigma exists in my community through jokes and the brushing off of mental illness. Through awareness and education, I hope to get people to realize the severity of mental illness, and what they can do to support those who have them.

My goal for this project is to get people to think about how to break the stigma within themselves. Whether that be to not make jokes that contribute to the stigma or helping someone who needs help.


THE CHALLENGE:

I identified 2 communities around me that needed help. One, in my own school, I seek to bring awareness to students on how severe mental illness is, what they can do to reduce the stigma, and to help educate others on mental illness. Two, the social community in Japan. Mental illness is very frowned upon in Japan and often goes unnoticed, resulting and copious cases of suicide. It’s saddening and I want to be able to help in any way that I can.

An infographic I made on suicide in japan:

 


THE SOLUTION:

In my own school, I plan to do a bake sale and coin drive to raise money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. I want to donate to help those that are affected by suicide. I also plan to utilize the school TV’s to project different facts of mental illness every day and different hotline numbers for students to get help. ex.

I have made it a personal goal to correct people on their use of mental illness terms (e.g. using them as jokes, or as adjectives “OMG im like sooooooo OCD”) and have been told that I have inspired people to do their own research. As for the Japanese community, I have been working with an organization called TELL to see where I can volunteer, and I will be volunteering at their booth at the Tokyo Pride Parade on May 7th.


WHAT’S NEXT?

I will be holding an event at my school where I will be broadcasting pictures with facts about mental illness and suicide. Every day there will be a new cycle of facts and pictures that people can read and see. The facts aren’t nice and thats the point. I want people to be surprised. I want people to be aware of how real and often mental illness goes unnoticed. I made a logo (which is at the top of the page) to put on my pictures, and on my coin drive jars. I also hope to pass down my project to a friend of mine who can continue it again next year (since I’m graduating.)

The goal of this event is to get people to think about what they are saying that contribute to the stigma. I will also be holding a coin drive to donate money to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.


SOURCES CITED:

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TELL at Tokyo Rainbow Pride 2017

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