Defining Mental Health
Many Western groups advocate viewing mental health issues from a medical model. Providers of mental health services and advocates for the mentally ill use this medical model with the intention of reducing the stigma placed on the individual diagnosed with the mental illness. Yet, consider the startling finding that, “those who adopted the biomedical and genetic beliefs about mental illness were most often those who wanted less contact with the mentally ill or thought of them as dangerous and unpredictable” (Watters, 2010, p. 173). Western conceptualization of mental health and illness has spread across the globe and impacted how individuals are treated. For example, cultures may have initially been more tolerant of these behaviors due to factors such as externalized locus of control, beliefs in traditional healing, spiritual beliefs, and less expressed emotion. (Watters, 2010)
For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources. Select a culture and consider how this culture perceives mental illness.
With these thoughts in mind:
Write well organized definitions of good mental health and poor mental health. Explain two ways the Liberian culture, which is your own culture influences your definitions of mental health. Then explain how your definition of mental health might differ from that of your selected culture. Finally, describe a behavior that is considered normal in your culture (the Liberian culture) but would be considered abnormal in the culture you selected. Support your responses using the Learning Resources and the current literature.
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