By Ghaziana Khalid
Although there is a considerable body of research associated with mental illnes, much of the remaining research has not explicitly focused on the concept of prejudice, which derives discriminatory behaviour. Investigated prejudice towards people with mental illness has conceptual, theoretical and psychometric limitations. The prejudice towards people with mental illness (PPMI) scale, based on an improved conceptualisation and combination of prejudice and discrimination areas of research.
Prejudice is a Latin word which means pre-judgement. This word is often used to preconceived, usually unfavourable, evaluation of another person based on that person’s political affiliation, sex, gender, social class, age, disability, religion, nationality or other personal characteristics. Discrimination is the behaviour or actions, usually negative, towards an individual or group of people , especially on the basis of sex/race/ social/ class etc. A prejudice person may act on their attitude. Therefore, someone can be prejudiced towards a certain group but not discriminate against them. Also, prejudice includes all three components of an attitude ( affective, behavioral, and cognitive ) , whereas discriminate just involves behaviour.
History Of Prejudice And Discrimination:
The first psychological research conducted on prejudice occured in the 1920’s. This research attempted to prove white supremacy, ”to indicate the mental superiority of the white race”.
Theorists viewed prejudice and discrimination as pathological and they looked for personality syndromes linked with racism, favouritism towards ane’s own groups, rather than negative feelings towards another group and narcissistic characters towards sexism. Discrimination may lead to people losing their self esteem can experience negative self identity which could then lead to depression. The impact that discrimination has on everybody involved is very big and can affect people in different ways. Aggression or crimes can be caused by people discriminating against each other. Prejudice makes the victim feel less than fully human. When people are undervalued by others, their self esteem suffers and they stop trying to improve themselves. Prejudice can often lead to intimidate/ frightened and other forms of discrimination. At it’s worst extremes, prejudice can lead to genocide as demonstrated during World War II, with the killing of 6 million Jewish people This is an example of what can happen when prejudiced is allowed to develop unchallenged in society.
Consequence of prejudice and discrimination:
The consequence of Prejudice and discrimination can lead to individuals and entire communities feeling vulnerable, frightened and worthless. At worst , the result can be death. Not all discrimination is a bad thing. In last 30 years, laws have been passed to create better access to buildings for people with disabilities.
Prejudice is a mental disorder that therapists are not immune to prejudicial and discrimination attitudes. Indeed, most schools offer the therapists little training on the role of racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination in therapy. These are the preventive measures that prejudice can only be reduced:
Passing laws and regulations that require equal treatment for all groups of people.
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Gaining public support and awareness for anti-prejudice social norms. Making people aware of the inconsistencies in their social beliefs.
Increased contact with members of other social groups.
Discrimination can be controlled that some people even have low esteem before they use health and social care services. A health and social care professional must ensure that someone keeps their high self-esteem or if it is low help manage it higher.