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Posted: July 26th, 2023

Reducing Mental Health Stigma: A Reflection for PMHNP Students

Address the following items:
The pressure of mental health stigma can come from family, friends, coworkers, and society on a broader level. It can prevent people living with mental illness from getting help, fitting into society, and living happy and comfortable lives.
• Reflect on your role as a PMHNP student and how you can help reduce or eradicate stigma within/at your clinical place, work, or home.
NU674 Unit 10 Assignment – Clinical: Journal Reflection
Criteria
Content Reflection
10 pts Level 5 Reflection demonstrates a high degree of critical thinking in applying. analyzing, and evaluating key course concepts and theories from readings. lectures, media, discussions activities, and/or assignments. Insightful and relevant connections made through contextual explanations, inferences. and examples.
Ratings
7 pts Level 3 Reflection demonstrates some degree of critical thinking in applying. analyzing, and/or evaluating key course concepts and theories from readings. lectures. media, discussions activities, and/or assignments. Connections made through explanations, inferences. and/or examples.
4 pts Level 1 Reflection demonstrates limited critical thinking in applying, analyzing, and/or evaluating key course concepts and theories from readings. lectures. media. discussions. activities. and/or assignments Minimal connections made through explanations. inferences. and/or examples.
0 pts Level 0 Reflection lacks critical thinking. Superficial connections are made with key course concepts and course materials. activities, and/or assignments.
Pts
10 pts

Reducing Mental Health Stigma: A Reflection for PMHNP Students

Mental health stigma remains a pervasive and detrimental issue affecting individuals living with mental illnesses. The burden of stigma can emanate from various sources, including family, friends, coworkers, and society at large. This social prejudice can create significant barriers for those seeking help and support, hindering their ability to integrate into society and lead fulfilling lives. As a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) student, it is essential to reflect on our role in combating mental health stigma within our clinical settings, workplaces, and homes. In this journal reflection, we will explore strategies to reduce and eradicate mental health stigma while applying critical thinking and relevant course concepts to foster positive change.

Understanding the Impact of Mental Health Stigma

To effectively address mental health stigma, it is crucial to comprehend its consequences on individuals living with mental illnesses. Stigmatization often leads to social isolation, discrimination, and reduced access to appropriate mental health care services. Studies have shown that the fear of being judged and misunderstood can deter individuals from seeking professional help, perpetuating their suffering and potentially exacerbating their condition.

Critical Thinking in Combating Mental Health Stigma

As PMHNP students, we are equipped with a robust understanding of mental health conditions, their treatments, and the complexities individuals face while coping with them. Our academic journey has provided us with essential insights from readings, lectures, discussions, and assignments. By critically analyzing these course concepts and theories, we can develop strategies to combat stigma effectively.

Empathy and Education

Empathy lies at the core of our role as PMHNPs. One potent approach to reducing mental health stigma is through education and awareness campaigns that dispel misconceptions surrounding mental illnesses. By providing accurate information, sharing stories of recovery, and emphasizing the prevalence of mental health conditions, we can foster a more understanding and compassionate society. This endeavor involves not only engaging with patients but also reaching out to family members, coworkers, and the broader community.

Collaboration and Advocacy

As PMHNPs, we have the opportunity to collaborate with other healthcare professionals, policymakers, and community leaders to advocate for better mental health resources and support systems. By participating in interprofessional teams, we can promote holistic care that addresses the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of mental health conditions. Additionally, our advocacy efforts can influence policy changes, leading to increased access to mental health services and a reduction in societal stigma.

Language and Communication

Language plays a significant role in perpetuating stigma. As PMHNP students, we must be mindful of the language we use when discussing mental health with our patients and colleagues. By employing person-first language and avoiding derogatory terms, we can contribute to destigmatizing mental health conditions and promoting a more respectful and inclusive environment.

Conclusion

As PMHNP students, we bear the responsibility of driving positive change in mental health care and eradicating the stigma that hinders individuals from seeking help and support. Through critical thinking and applying course concepts, we can employ empathy, education, collaboration, and thoughtful communication to reduce mental health stigma within our clinical settings, workplaces, and homes. By doing so, we contribute to building a society that is more understanding, compassionate, and supportive of individuals living with mental illnesses.

References:

Corrigan, P. W., & Watson, A. C. (2016). Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness. World Psychiatry, 15(2), 205-206.

Clement, S., Schauman, O., Graham, T., Maggioni, F., Evans-Lacko, S., Bezborodovs, N., … & Thornicroft, G. (2015). What is the impact of mental health-related stigma on help-seeking? A systematic review of quantitative and qualitative studies. Psychological Medicine, 45(1), 11-27.

Henderson, C., Noblett, J., Parke, H., Clement, S., Caffrey, A., Gale-Grant, O., … & Howard, L. (2014). Mental health-related stigma in health care and mental health-care settings. The Lancet Psychiatry, 1(6), 467-482.

Schulze, B. (2016). Stigma and mental health professionals: A review of the evidence on an intricate relationship. International Review of Psychiatry, 28(5), 525-539.

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