The impacts of stigma are far-reaching and can be seen in political enthusiasm, charitable fundraising, and availability and support for mental health services. Unfortunately, discrimination related to mental illness is still prevalent in many areas, including the workplace. To help address this issue, numerous organizations and campaigns have been created to combat the stigma and provide support for those affected. More than one in three people are concerned about potential retaliation or being fired if they seek mental health care.
To protect themselves, individuals may need to submit a letter from their healthcare provider that documents their mental health condition and the need for an adjustment. In some cases, distrust in the mental health system can be an obstacle to seeking help. This is especially true in certain communities, such as the African-American community. Fortunately, employers are becoming more aware of the stigma against mental illness and are taking steps to address it.
The movie Joker may have also had an impact on self-stigma among people with mental illness, leading to delays in seeking help. This is especially true in cultures where seeking professional help goes against traditional values of strong family ties, emotional restraint, and avoiding shame. A recent review of research revealed that self-stigma has a negative effect on recovery for those with serious mental illnesses. To help combat this issue, it's important to understand what discrimination looks like and how to address it.
The study also found that watching Joker was associated with higher levels of prejudice toward people with mental illness. Celebrities such as Henson and Lady Gaga have helped bring the issue of mental health into the public eye and everyday conversations. Employee assistance programs (EAP) are available through employers to help employees address a variety of concerns, including work-life stressors, mental and emotional well-being, family problems, financial concerns, relationship problems, or legal concerns. Stigma surrounding mental illness is still a major obstacle for many people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds when it comes to accessing mental health services.
Employers cannot rely on myths or stereotypes about their mental health condition when deciding if they can do a job or if they pose a safety risk.