Society and the Mentally Ill

Discussions

Vocabulary/Terminology

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“We don’t talk about mental illness well”-Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (1:05).

When most people talk about mental illness they do not do it in a polite, or proper, way. Words we sometimes use, for example”crazy”,”psycho”, “wacko”, “nuts”, “insane” or “freak”, further reinforce the stigma against those with mental health issues -Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (0:32).

Timing

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“It seems there’s nothing like a mass shooting to suddenly spark political interest in mental health” -Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (2:12).

“The aftermath of a mass shooting might actually be the worst time to talk about mental health because, for the record, the vast majority of mental ill people are non-violent and the vast majority of gun violence is committed by non-mentally ill people” -Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (2:42).

“The fact that we tend to only discuss mental health in a ‘mass-shooting context’ is deeply misleading” -Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (2:57)

“If we are going to constantly use mentally ill people as a way to dodge conversations about gun control, the the very least we owe them is a f***ing plan”-Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (11:37).

“Treatment” Locations

“Snake Pits”

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Mental Asylums/Institutions, with terrible conditions, that were shut down by President Kennedy in the 60s. Unfortunately, we never followed through with his plan to replace them with therapeutic centers. -Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (5:14).

Nursing Homes

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The AP released a statement saying,”…nearly 125,000 young and middle-aged adults with serious mental illness lived in US nursing homes [in 2008]” -as cited in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (5:28).

“Greyhound Therapy”

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Discharging mentally ill patients too soon and giving them a one-way bus ticket out of town. -Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (6:09).

Prison

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“2,000,000 people with mental illness go to state and local jails every year. …there is now 10 times more people behind bars than in state funded psychiatric treatment” -as cited in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (6:47).

The Reality

“…at least half of the people shot and killed by police each year in this country have mental health problems”- as cited in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (7:46).

“In 2013, an estimated 43.8 million adults…in the United States had any mental illness…” -as cited in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (3:42).

“10.0 million…had serious mental illness…in the past year” – as cited in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Mental Health (3:46).

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Works Cited

Oliver, J. (Writer), & Hosickson, J. (Director). (2015). Mental Health [Television series episode] In T. Carvell (Executive Producer), Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. New York City, NY: HBO.

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