Authors: Patrizia Fiorillo, Rosanne Brabin
Event: 2002 TheMHS Conference
Subject: manangement, staff, Mental Health of Mental Health Workers, mental health services, profession, Community Attitudes And Stigma
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The consumer movement has increased worldwide awareness of the stigma and discrimination experienced by people affected by mental illness in all areas of life, leading to changes in practices and policies at National and International levels.
Mental health services, however, with their close relationship to medicine and the law, have been slower in recognising the values and attitudes reflected in these changes. Furthermore, these changes are harder to implement within mental health organisations and between colleagues and employees.
The personal and professional experience of a mental health professional currently employed in an acute community care team highlights the struggles, challenges and rewards of disclosing mental illness and of seeking treatment when needed, while in full-time employment. Management commitment to open communication and the development of a supportive environment has enhanced the team's ability to normalise mental illness, getting a little closer to making a difference to stigma and discrimination experienced by mental health professionals who have a mental illness.