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Author: Center for Mental Health Services

Before You Label People, Look At Their Contents

When mental illnesses are used as labels-depressed, schizophrenic, manic, or hyperactive-these labels hurt. Labels lead to stigma — a word that means branding and shame. And stigma leads to discrimination. Everyone knows why it is wrong to discriminate against people because of their race, religion, culture, or appearance. They are less aware of how people with mental illnesses are discriminated against. Although such discrimination may not always be obvious, it exists-and it hurts. Words Can Be Poison The stigma of mental illness is real, painful, and damaging to the lives of people with mental illness. Stigma prevents them from...

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Know Your Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) ensures that people with disabilities, such as severe mental illness, have legal protection against discrimination in the workplace, housing and residential settings (including treatment facilities such as hospitals), public programs, and telecommunications. The ADA’s goal is to give the 54 million Americans with disabilities full and equal opportunities (President Bush’s New Freedom Initiative, 2002). What are State Protection and Advocacy programs? Each State, as well as the District of Columbia and the five Territories, has a Protection and advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) program. PAIMI programs safeguard the rights of people...

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How To Pay for Mental Health Services

The high cost of health care makes treatment out of reach for many people. Those who do not have health insurance — more than 38 million Americans — often avoid treatment entirely, because costs can be staggering. What is private insurance? The majority of working Americans are covered under employer-provided health insurance plans. One type of plan is a standard indemnity policy, which gives people freedom to visit a health care provider of their choice and pay out of pocket for their treatment. The insurance plan reimburses members for some portion of the cost. The other common plan is...

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Housing Options For People With Mental Illness

Finding housing can be one of the most difficult factors in dealing with a mental illness. This article is meant to help guide you through the process. What factors should be considered as part of a housing decision? How much can you afford to pay? Is the neighborhood pleasant? Is it safe? If you share your living space, will your housemates be compatible? Is the house, apartment, or room in good condition? Is transportation to shopping and your treatment center nearby? How much support will you need to carry out everyday activities? Does your prospective landlord have a reputation...

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Finding Mental Health Services – Where to Go for Help

People often don’t get the mental health services they need because they don’t know where to start. If you or someone you know could benefit from seeing a mental health professional, these resources can help you find the right care: Your family physician or health care provider. Mental health division of your local health department. Community mental health center. Family services agency, such as Catholic Charities, family services, or Jewish Social Services. Employee assistance program provided by your employer. Professional counselor who works in a mental health center, outpatient clinic, private or group practice, general or psychiatric hospital, or...

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