and misconceptions about people with mental illness can create major
barriers when it comes to them accessing housing, employment and other
services and supports, according to panelists at a Chicago town hall
meeting on the topic Thursday.
Parker, a panelist and assistant director of consumer affairs at
the Illinois Institute of Technology's Center on Adherence and Self
Determination, said she's suffered from severe depression, anxiety and
post traumatic stress disorder due to a previous abusive marriage. She says she has faced discrimination numerous times just due to her illness. For example, when she tried to receive a government-provided
medical card when her condition made it too difficult for her to work,
she was told, ”Well, you don’t look sick to me.”
who is African American, said what's really bothersome is that she's
felt stigmatized the most within her own community.
community, women aren't supposed to be tired," Parker said at the
discussion, hosted by Access Living. "We're not supposed to be
overburdened. [They say], 'Buck up ... Stop being a wimp."