It is the desire of everyone to be treated equally like anybody else whether in right mind and Soul or when sick. It should happen anytime and anywhere, be it in an organization, company, health centers, in a group of people among others. It instills a sense of belonging when one fits in a category either socially, economically, mentally, spiritually or politically. People with disabilities require particular critical attention because of their state of mind. It is the responsibility of all medical practitioners and clinicians to provide maximum care to the patient irrespective of their disabilities to facilitate quick patient healing and a trusting relationship between the clinician and the patient (Livingstone & Wilkins, 2004). However, discrimination which is harmful or lousy behavior toward some people because of their disabilities such as mental illness has risen among people over the past decades. Perception has become rampant to the extent of being noticeable outside mental health systems. It is working against the patients. The paper below is a brief discussion of discrimination and its harmful nature against the mentally ill in various entities.
Discrimination is evident in the Medicare in various ways. The clinicians have failed to provide required support and treatment services to mentally ill people in both hospital and communities. It has led to increased number of deaths and patients left untreated and crowded emergency rooms, states, streets, and jails. Neglected care to patients with mental illnesses that can be curbed at an early stage such as drug addiction and bipolar disorder has led to increased expenses in the management of the very individuals whose conditions have advanced to severe mental disorders (Johnstone, 2009) Discrimination has also resulted in the refusal of patients to seek support and essential services due to fear and shame. Medicare law has shown discrimination against the mentally ill by reducing the days the patient is supposed to receive psychiatric care. In private hospitals, there is a reduction in mental beds. There is less payment for psychiatric care than medical care for inpatients. Much care can be given to the patient with cardiac diseases compared to those with brain disorders. The law assumes that the mentally ill do not deserve to live proper, safe functioning, and prosperous lives. Hence the patients are forced to live in a confused and disabled state (Livingstone & Wilkins, 2004)
The government is also identified to be the source of discrimination to the mentally challenged persons. It constitutes the Law, orders, and policies made by governmental institutions, more specifically the legislature to restrict privileges and opportunities of the mentally ill people intentionally. Examples of discrimination in political institutions are; law- their rights are limited. They cannot hold an elective office position, no participation of juries and voting. They are thought to be unable to make decisions alone. News media- people with mental disorders or illnesses, are not well covered in media. For instance, in the majority of the articles as being violent and hazardous people. The government has set rules that penalize the poor and people with disabilities. Other negative characteristics framed concerning their disorder or medical treatments can be unsociable and unpredictable. For this reason, perception is made upon them as are people who are not able to make decisions on their own. As a result, the patients tend to develop fear and a feeling of exclusion which in turn can affect their healing processes. The government has also created a barrier to the access to medical care and reduction of psychiatric beds in private hospitals (Johnstone, 2009). There is less payment for psychiatric care by the government than medical care for inpatients. Much care can be given to the patient with cardiac diseases compared to those with brain disorders
Discrimination against the mentally ill is also evident in education systems. Education is a continuous learning process. The learning process entails the exchange of knowledge, skills, beliefs, habits, and values (united states, 1978). The entire process of learning involves internalization and memorization of the concept. Most children with mental illnesses tend to take a bit longer to internalize and memorize the idea. Most of them end up being discriminated by their tutors because of their incapacity to follow simple instructions like the rest. Mentally ill students can be granted different accommodation and seclusion from others. And sometimes their confidential information about their illness is spilled out. Most teachers strive to associate themselves with highly performing or intelligent students in the class. There is a creation of a negative attitude in mentally disabled children toward various subjects and teachers in school. They can also refrain from sharing their conditions in fear of disclosure. In the process, the whole performance of the child is affected. The majority can drop out of school due to much discrimination and demoralization.
Legal systems. The law on protection of individuals with disabilities is based tradition on facts about sanity. Once the passing of a bill has it cannot be altered; it only remains in books. For instance, the divorce law; most of the mentally ill married individuals are considered incompetent by the law. The majority also remain unmarried for their incapacity for good parenting. The wild and violent mentally ill patients can be authorized to be segregated or locked up in a structure.
However, there is undoubtedly no discrimination against the mentally ill in the employment and job seeking processes (Livingstone, 2009). Employees or suffering from diagnosed mental heal illnesses are challenging to work with them. Can lead to can be subjected the individuals to absenteeism due to pain, medication side effects, and chronic diseases. Work output of a healthy person is very incomparable to the sick employee. To add to the employer naturally selects people to work with basing on their references and qualifications, so everyone stands a chance of being employed provided you meet the requirements.
To conclude, in my opinion, discrimination toward the mental ill-health individuals has become rampant to the extent of being noticeable outside by everyone. It is evident in Medicare systems, government institutions, education system and legal system. The impacts to the patients are negative and very unbearable. It can result in victimization, seclusion, authoritarianism, and harassment. The effects in the health care system can include; This has led to increased number of deaths and patients left untreated and crowded emergency rooms, states, streets, and jails. Neglecting care to patients with mental illnesses which could have been a preventive measure at an early stage such as drug addiction and bipolar disorder has led to increased expenses in the management of the very individuals whose conditions have advanced to severe mental disorders. Discrimination has also resulted in the refusal of patients to seek support and essential services due to fear and shame. In governmental and its rules, it has led to less payment for psychiatric care by the government than medical care for inpatients. Much care can be given to the patient with cardiac diseases compared to those with brain disorders. It is there the initiative of each one of us to come together and fight the discrimination monster in all aspects. We should also treat one another equally for not everyone is similarly healthy. Remember illness or rather a disorder attacks anyone at any time irrespective of your origin, religion, occupation, the nation among others.
- Johnstone, -J. (2009). Bioethics: A nursing perspective. Sydney, N.S.W: Churchill
- Livingstone/Elsevier Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2004). Nurse’s legal handbook. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- United States. (1978). Proposals to expand coverage of mental health under Medicare–Medicaid: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Finance, Ninety-Fifth Congress, second session, August 18, 1978. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.