Speaker: Andrew Molas, PhD Candidate in Philosophy, York University
The aim of this seminar is to offer a preliminary examination on the importance of narrative for helping to overcome the issue of stigma surrounding mental illness. I begin by discussing what narrative is and why narratives are important for authoring our own stories. I then discuss some potential reasons why the narratives of people with schizophrenia are often dismissed and I maintain that this is due in large part to the damaging effects of stigma. Shifting the negative and harmful impact of stigma surrounding mental illness, and changing the public’s perception of mental health challenges in a more positive manner, requires efforts to raise awareness about the realities of living with these diagnoses. To achieve this aim, not only do I draw on patient narrative accounts to underscore the effects of stigma but I also draw on Husserl’s phenomenological approach and Toombs’ notion of “attentional focus” as means to view mental illness in a different way. By engaging directly with the lived experience of mental illness, and by engaging with the narratives which underscore the damaging impact that stigma has, I maintain that the public can begin developing more accepting views of schizophrenia and begin to support those who need it the most.
This seminar is free and open to the public. No registration is required. It will also be webcast live via Adobe Connect.