The Change of Social Views on Mental Illnesses

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In the past, mental illnesses were not widely accepted in society. Many times, upon the discovery of a mental illness in a child, the parents would send them to a mental institution to take care of them. Because of this, people with mental illnesses were often looked down upon due to the public’s unfamiliarity with them. Society’s ignorance has minimized over the years. The social views over the past 30 years have changed considerably towards people with mental disabilities due to socialization, by being involved in valued roles in society, and the evolution of medicine. The socialization of people with mental illnesses changed society’s way of thinking. The closures of mental institutions have contributed greatly to this. Sending a child with a mental illness to a mental institution to be raised, isolated them from society. By not being exposed to people that are different, it is difficult to widely accept and understand those differences. The more one is exposed to something, the more desensitized they are to it. For example, studies show that the more exposure to violence through the media and video games, the more desensitized the consumers are to the violence in real-life situations (Science Daily). Many times in society, one sees someone with a mental illness working in places that give them seemingly meaningless roles within that workplace (i.e. Jobs that do not contribute to society). By eliminating those meaningless jobs, people with mental illnesses have the opportunity to work among those without a mental illness. It will therefore increase contact, consequently increasing familiarization. The media has contributed greatly towards providing knowledge to the public about mental illnesses such as depression, autism, and bipolar disorder. By educating the public, it will cause less apprehension and misunderstanding of people with mental disorders. Marsha Gray of Community Living Mississauga points out that, “One of the things I find that...
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