Sociology of Mental Health and Illness
Reflection on Mental Health – Where art thou dear friend?
Being a member of a social system which is dominated by the medical model would lead one to adopt a rather narrow view of health in general and mental health in particular. We are left with two alternatives; either being healthy is defined as a negative or as an ideal. Thus if you are not sick then you must be healthy or we are left with the World Health Organization’s Definition as “Health is not only the absence of infirmity and disease but also a state of physical, mental and social well-being.” Generally speaking, neither the negative nor the ideal are useful in understanding one’s mental health or even what one might to do “be” healthy.
In the last two sections, we have covered Laing, Fromm, and Whitaker who each try to grapple with this complex problem of situating health within a social system. For each, the person is an existential being that is deeply embedded in a social nexus. Loosely adopting Fromm’s view that we are ‘being born’ most of our time here, you are to reflect on moving towards increasing your mental health, lest we face, “…the tragic fate of most individuals to d(ying) before we are born.” (Fromm, 1955:26)
Your reflection needs to be in six paragraphs as set out below and you need to follow college writing guidelines. Each paragraph is to be about one page. Please use New Roman Times, 12 font. The writing assignment is worth 35 points.
#1 Topic: Discuss Laing’s view of Ontological Security.
#2 Topic: Discuss Fromm’s view of Human Needs and Being Born.
#3 Topic: Discuss Whitaker’s community focus
#4 Context: In this paragraph, using one of the three viewpoints, discuss where the author
would see that you face a challenge/problem for your mental health.
Reflective Writing Components: This genre seeks to get the writer to think more deeply about what he/she is doing. Two devises are used to accomplish this: a metaphor and a discussion of what you have learned about yourself from the reflection. To fulfill these two components, first (paragraph three) using a metaphor, discuss the problem that you overviewed in your topic paragraph in terms of a metaphor. Second (paragraph four) discuss what you have learned about yourself from this assignment. Do not use clichés such as ‘I need more knowledge’, ‘I need to work harder’, “I need to be more tolerant”, or “I need to be more understanding”. You need to explore more deeply what you have learned about yourself as a person from this reflection. Think deeply.
#5: Metaphor: Using a metaphor, discuss the problem that confronted you in the context
paragraph in terms of a metaphor. First, state your problem as a
metaphor. Second discuss the metaphor and isolate its key components
and third, two of these components to an understanding of your problem.
#6: Discuss two things you have learned about yourself from this reflection? – Think
deeply about you – as a person.
#7: Writing requirements: if used – attach print-outs; paragraphs are labeled, of proper
length, grammar/spelling corrected, well organized, and citations/reference
page – if needed)
Grading Rubric: Comments are placed on the assignment. The following is the overall appraisal for each area:
Check-plus – Strongly integrated presentation (4-5 points)
Check – Adequately covered for the assignment (2-3 points)
Check-minus – Underdeveloped or missing on the assignment (1 point).
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