My Bio-Ecological Experience with Regard to Mental Illnesses

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I am fortunate to live in a culture that accepts mental illnesses for what they are; treatable disorders. In macrosystem of western Canada, even though not much is generally known about mental illnesses, the overall feeling is that people living with these disorders need and should be provided the help and support they deserve. With the mental illness issues in the downtown east side in Vancouver so pervasive, we see the horrible extreme when these illnesses are left untreated. I don’t know of a person who wouldn’t agree that those who suffer with a mental illness deserve help, regardless of their socioeconomic status. This sense of philanthropy, though, has not always been the case in my immediate family. Although the statistics …show more content…
When my father was around the age of 11, my grandmother, who died before I was born, was suffering from a “mental breakdown”, as my mother described it (personal communication with B. Fisher January 20, 2012). It is said that my grandmother was not able to pull herself out of this state and suffered from her illness for some time. My father was not able to understand what my grandmother was going through and couldn’t handle her “weakness”, as my mother describes how my father viewed the situation. Unable to help my grandmother in their home country of England, my grandparents decided that emigrating with my father and uncle to Canada was in their best interest. They were in need of a better life away from the small village they lived in. Desborough did not have many, if any, services available in the small town exosystem as a big city might have in the 1950’s. The move proved to be successful, as my grandmother eventually got better. The outlook of mental illness, though, was forever seen as a weakness by my father. The extend to my father’s disgust with mental illness is so deep rooted, he won’t even watch a movie that has overt displays of mental illness, he also never wants to deal with “those people”, as my mother puts it, and feels they are weak and need to just get it together.
On the contrary, my mother has more empathy for those who suffer from some forms of mental illness as she has

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