A Beautiful Mind
A mental illness is a psychological anomaly which is reflected in behavior and is associated with disability or distress. A third of the total population in most of the countries report problems which meet the criteria for diagnosis of some types of mental illnesses (Quigley, 2007). The biggest problem faced by people having mental problems is stigma. It disrupts family relationships, lowers self-esteem, and affects their chances of employment, the ability to socialize and to obtain housing. Our societies have had many misconceptions against the people suffering from mental disorders, and this has turned stigma into discriminatory behaviors.
There are some myths created about the humans with mental issues such as these people are dangerous and violent; they are less intelligent and poor; mental sickness is untreatable, and that it is caused by personal weakness. “Powerful and pervasive stigma prevents people from acknowledging their own mental health problems, much less disclosing them to others” (Howard, 2002). Mental disabilities are known to cause more unemployment than physical ones. Individuals with mental illnesses also face more discrimination than those suffering from physical disabilities. New Mexico has undertaken some efforts to eliminate stigma though the whole process faces criticism at some points.
New Mexico has really come far in regards of the treatment it gives to mental patients. During the past years, individuals with mental issues were discriminated in all aspects by the public, and they could only relate with their family members. Only a small percentage of the mental patients were in rehabilitation centers; unlike today, where the number has drastically increased. “New Mexico recently approved a law allowing properly trained and licensed Psychologists to prescribe psychiatric medicines” (Madden, 1998). The law aims at reforming mental health care and reducing discrimination cases. Today mental patients are not only treated with psychotherapy but also with medicine as it was earlier done. New Mexico does not allow psychologists to prescribe medicine to mental patients because they are not qualified physicians. Departments dealing with psychic health are seeking to empower the patients, their families, and also their friends.
There are certain priorities that New Mexico has put forward towards the betterment of the mental patients’ lives. First it is looking forward to creating awareness to the citizens on the importance of embracing people who have mental problems. Second, New Mexico is trying to handle discrimination; stigma and support mental health patients and their families go through it without much strain. Third, the state is working on the whole process undergone by mental patients to their recovery and putting in place competent and qualified workforce. Lastly, New Mexico is prioritizing on improving the services offered to mental patients.
Dealing with mental patients is not easy and needs a lot of caution and care. Mental health patients may sometimes create scenes without their consent. An example from the movie A Beautiful Mind is where Nash puts the life of his son in danger when he hits his mother Alicia thinking that he is protecting her from Percher (Howard, 2002). Mental patients need loyal people like Nash’s wife Alicia who decides to stay and take care of him to recovery. Family members are the best people who can assist a person suffering from mental illness and make him understand the life in reality because they suffer from hallucinations which can make them do unexpected things. The life would have been more difficult for Nash. It is evident that only a few employers can allow the individuals with mental issues to work at their premises. Martin Hansen could not allow Nash to teach again at the beginning, and he allowed him to work out of the audit classes. Nash was allowed to teach again as he grew older and learned to manage his hallucinations. Mental health patients can deliver if given a chance. Nash being a mental patient won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics.
Mental health should never be separated from public health because a large population suffers from it. Mental health policies in New Mexico should be incorporated into the existing and new policies governing health. It is significant to include the mental health maladies in safety and occupational health programs. It is also very important to give special treatment to the people already been suffered from mental disorders. Human rights should be highly protected for the sake of people suffering from mental disorders to avoid discrimination and also give them equal opportunities in the society. “The lack of empowerment of care organizations and poor advocacy hinder the design and implementation of policies and activities that are sensitive to their needs and wishes” (Hurley, 1999). Disability rights legislation should be introduced so as to ensure the mental health patients are equitably and equally covered. Today, mental children and young people in New Mexico having mental health issues have been incorporated in both the regular and vocational education systems, and they are also being integrated to suit them.
In conclusion, mental health patients are a group of people in the society who have suffered discrimination of the highest level in New Mexico in the past years. They have been left out in most of the developmental activities in the state such as education and employment for those who are qualified for certain positions. Today, New Mexico has improved its treatment towards individuals with mental disorders by protecting and respecting their rights. Regular and vocational education has been integrated to suit children with mental disorders, hence increasing their productivity.
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