Marja Bergen

author, mental health advocate, follower of Christ

Tag: mental illness (page 1 of 4)

The best way to reduce mental health stigma

LISTEN TO THE VOICES OF THOSE WHO LIVE WITH IT Trying to reduce stigma by having educators teach us about mental illness, only serves to show people how we’re different. It’s only by hearing from people who live with it—only by hearing how they’re hurt by stigma and discrimination—that compassion can grow and understanding reached. […]

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It’s not the end of the world? Really?

THE EFFECTS OF STIGMA AND DISCRIMINATION In 1999, I published a book encouraging those who, like me, had mental health issues. In an effort to encourage them, I wrote, “It’s not the end of the world.” I worked hard, trying to make the world a better place for them—in 2006, founding support groups, where they […]

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My disability gave me a reason to live

DISABILITY AS A GIFT As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. […]

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Equality between mentally ill and healthy

WHEN BOUNDARIES NEED TO BE APPLIED I’m sensitive to being treated with disrespect. Isn’t everyone? I’m as human as the next person and believe I deserve to be treated that way. And yet, so often, even amongst people who I had thought to be kind, this sense of equality seems not to be understood. I […]

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We need more than acceptance alone

MENTAL ILLNESS AND EQUALITY Much has been done to build better mental health awareness in the church. Yet there’s room for better understanding. And a lot more needs to happen than acceptance alone. People with mental health issues are no different than others in wanting to be considered to have equal worth. And yet it’s […]

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My claims of abuse – a symptom of my illness?

MENTAL ILLNESS AND ABUSE Graham Thornicroft, in his book Shunned: Discrimination against people with mental illness said this: “Once a person has been defined as mentally ill, his or her protests are often discredited or, even worse, labelled one more ‘symptom’ of his or her illness.” I have – for a very long time tried […]

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Why don’t people listen to us?

VOICES OF MENTAL ILLNESS Have you ever noticed how some organizations created to be there for the welfare of people with mental health issues, talk more about us than listen to us? It’s the same when groups of people gather to talk about how they can support us. They talk about us. We ourselves are […]

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Why are people with mental illness not heard?

That’s the way it is when you have a mental illness. No matter how good a person you are or how much good you’ve done, you’re not considered to have credibility. Many like me have things to say: to protect ourselves, defend ourselves, explain ourselves. But we’re not listened to, not heard. Not like “regular” […]

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Mental illness and justice

Having a mental illness doesn’t mean that a person has any less ability to reason than the next person. It doesn’t mean they’re any less able to know when wrong is done. It doesn’t mean they cannot feel the pain when they are being mistreated. And it doesn’t mean that the truth about that mistreatment […]

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Equal under God

As a person with mental health challenges, I claim the right to be considered equal. I may be different, but I am equal. Equal under God, the same as everyone else. Many have accepted people with problems like mine, making us part of their church and community. But this doesn’t mean we’re necessarily counted as […]

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