Reporter's diary: What’s in a stigma? Well, learn it the hard way!

The moment this reporter posted a picture in appreciation of the beautiful campus of the Institute on a social media platform, reactions started pouring in on whether ‘she’ had become ‘mental’ just because she visited the hospital.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: The setting was the Institute of Mental Health in Kilpauk and the purpose was collecting inputs for a story on stigma attached to certain types of treatment procedures, services and health care at the Institute. Only that this reporter for a moment forgot the ‘stigma’ attached to the hospital.

Usually called ‘mental hospital’, thanks to topic of mental health care getting beyond the understanding of many, it is also a subject of joke in day-to-day scenarios with people not seeing it as a hospital for providing mental health care and services, but as a place occupied by ‘psychos’. The stigma never ends. The moment this reporter posted a picture in appreciation of the beautiful campus of the Institute on a social media platform, reactions started pouring in on whether ‘she’ had become ‘mental’ just because she visited the hospital.

Well, it was a joke for some while some others seriously asked if the reporter was on medication for some major mental disorder. It just didn’t stop there because many people took the opportunity to take potshots at the reporter’s mental health reasoning it with “overthinking”, “it’s all on your head”, “don’t be too emotional” and other such comments.

Talking about stigma, it was just a matter of a few minutes before this reporter understood how important it was to write and talk about stigma surrounding mental health. And yes, the campus of Institute of Mental Health is really beautiful and the greenery there will really give you a happy feeling.

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