“It’s not cool” to make fun of people with mental illnesses

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Senior House Officer at Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital Dr Teri-Ann Joseph is urging members of the public not to make fun of people who exhibit symptoms of mental illnesses.

Joseph told state media people suffering from mental illnesses sometimes remove their clothing and walk naked in public.

The doctor was swift to condemn the actions of individuals who might decide to film a person exhibiting such behaviour.

“If you see someone behaving in that manner, clearly, there is something wrong with that person and to film it, to share it on social media, calls into question our motives, it calls into question what we’ve really become as human beings,” Joseph said.

She said people had a duty to report such incidents to the relevant authorities.

“If you saw something like that in person, I hope you that you would have called the ambulance or called the police so that that person can get help. If you saw that over social media, that’s not cool. That’s really not cool.”

She said sharing videos of people exhibiting symptoms of mental illness fosters stigma and discrimination.

“It’s not cool to laugh at that person, it’s not cool to videotape that person, it’s not cool to share it. It really isn’t cool because you know what, mental health disorders do not discriminate. One day it could be you, one day it could be your family member and if the table were turned, how would you like it if you were filmed and that was just spread on social media?” she asked.

Saturday will be recognized as World Mental Health Day, which is an international day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. I agree with what the doctor has stated. I am of the opinion that there is a real lack of education and awareness of mental illness in Antigua and throughout the caribbean which needs to be addressed starting in the schools. Mental illness can affect for many different reasons. People do need to.be aware when someone is behaving out of the norm and everyone should know the procedure of which services to access to keep them safe. Services in Antigua should also be trained to respond quickly and react to the person with empathy and not as a criminal.

  2. Persons need to understand that the pressures of life can trigger off any one at anytime….
    A pandemic which may result in not having a job, unable to pay bills, losing a spouse or family member, family disputes / breakups and many other adversities which is against the persons will, are factors that can contribute to one’s mental demise…… Some persons tolerance level is low hence, these persons may find themselves experiencing mental issues early in life. Others may experience it later down. It is sad that mental illness has created a stigma in our society. As a result, many who could be offered help, are rejected by families & friends and of course they are then being made fun of and perhaps called crazy. Clearly, in my view the behaviour of those persons who make fun & reject the mentally ill, also suffer with a form of acute mental illness & immaturity. The mentally ill persons needs care & love & also be considered as a part of our civilize society……. Definiely, the Doc is so right. The coin can flip…. Today is for me but tomorrow maybe for you……… Let’s becareful & be a little more compassionate!!

  3. What isnt cool is the disregard for better service for people who have mental issues. Talking isnt helping, celebrating days is of no benefit if there is no associated action plan. Mental health needs action.

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