Mental illness has been treated as something more than an illness. It has been treated as a weakness since the beginning of time. In previous centuries people with mental illness have been accused of being witches and subsequently had been tortured and burned. This mistreatment and misunderstanding of mental illness continue even till the present day. This has been reflected and how people with mental illnesses have been discriminated against and sometimes as less than human. In addition, some people look at people with mental illnesses as being weak as if they could control their illness without treatment or therapy.
In the workplace, you find people with mental illness being marginalized. Discrimination against people with melt mental illnesses is a common practice. It is widespread and it is the responsibility of those who recognize it to be prepared to identify it when it is seen. The National Alliance on Mental Illness is an organization that fights for the rights of people with mental illness.
There is also a lot of discrimination against people with mental illness in the workplace as far as acquiring the job I worked as a job coach for people with disabilities. Many of them had mental illnesses. These people with mental illness turned out to be some of the most dependable workers. There is an inherent prejudice against hiring people with mental illnesses. Many people think because they haven’t a mental illness that they are lazy or incompetent or somehow unable to complete a task effectively. During my time as job coach, I found that to be untrue and one of the more popular stereotypes about people with mental illnesses.
In spite of all the aforementioned facts, there’s been a recent change in the treatment and acceptance of people with mental illnesses. In the last few years, many famous actors and athletes have come out stating that they have a mental illness and have been struggling with it for many years. Some examples are people such as Michael Phelps, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Demi Lovato, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Donny Osmond, to name a few. Hopefully, the actions of these sports superstars and actors will help to normalize and minimize the stigma of having a mental illness.

Peter C. Lucas LCPC