Many social workers practice in settings serving people with mental illnesses, but social work education in the United States has given minimal attention to helping students understand the systemic nature of prejudice and discrimination experienced by this population. Some courses address prejudice (stigma) toward people with mental illnesses, but a critical consideration of systemic oppression appears to be lacking. We explain how an oppression framework used to understand the systemic nature of racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression is useful in illuminating experiences related to (perceived) mental health status. We offer suggestions for incorporating content into courses that focus on diversity and oppression with the goal of preparing students to engage in antioppressive practice with people who have mental illnesses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)