Written by Bailey Patterson, Student Informatician
We are so excited to share the stories of those who have experienced stigma related to a mental health condition.
The idea of a highly stigmatized story in the world of mental health disability is one of interest. In the past decade, leaps and bounds have been made in terms of speaking more openly about mental health. Nowadays, schools, businesses, and communities across the country are more aware of terms like “mental health days”, “stressors”, “depression”, and “anxiety”. This type of awareness makes discussing mental health commonplace and opens a new world of acceptance for people who experience things like anxiety and depression in their daily lives.
However, the mainstream mental health awareness movement has left behind a large group of people. It is no secret that highly stigmatized mental health disabilities have not received the same much needed acceptance in order to reduce the marginalization the people with these disabilities experience. People diagnosed with schizophrenia, personality disorders, bipolar disorders, psychotic disorders, OCD, dissociative disorders, people who have experienced involuntary commitment, and more have stories that have been pushed into the shadows of larger conversations.
This podcast is where we want to expand the scope of the mental health awareness conversation. This podcast seeks to highlight and center conversations about these highly stigmatized disabilities by bringing people with lived experiences to the forefront. We want to create a space where people with highly stigmatized diagnoses can speak honestly and openly about themselves, their experiences with their condition be it positive and/or negative, the treatment, stigmatization, systemic barriers and violence, and marginalization they face due to their disability and how this affects them overall as human beings.
The road to a liberatory future for all people with mental health disabilities is long. Many systemic and interpersonal factors weave together to create the specific type marginalization this group faces. This podcast and the conversations it highlights will only be one step in the right direction, but it is with hope that the barriers and oppressions discussed in these conversations will inspire broader action that this podcast is made. It is also our hope to capture and share disabled joy. Both of these elements are part of the whole of the disabled identity, which we hope to give space and power to in Stigma Silenced: A Mental Health Podcast.
Check out the Sphere website to listen to new episodes as they become available.