Stemming stigma

Posted on September 1st, by editor in Caring Times. No Comments

JEF SMITH queries whether the stigma of living in a care home, having had a mental disorder or being any sort of social care service user will ever be eliminated.

I have two confessions to make. The first is that I have had treatment for mental disorder. It was nearly 50 years ago and it related to a particular crisis in my life as a student. The symptoms have not recurred but I was, briefly but undeniably, a user of a mental health service, namely a psychiatrist. The second confession is that I repressed this information on my CV throughout my social services career, fearing that interview panels, professional rivals and others might use it to my disadvantage. In other words I knowingly colluded with the stigma which attaches to mental illness. I should have come out years ago.

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