Friday, October 21, 2011 537 Heller Hall 10-21-2011 C. Figueroa.pdf
ClaraMente: Constructing Mental Health and Stigma in Guatemala City
presented by Chantal Figueroa, Comparative and International Development Education
Guatemala City ranks today as one of the most stratified and violent urban spaces in the world. In a context of insecurity and inequality, mental illness is a reality that affects 27 to 35 percent of the population. However, there is an absence of mental health policy and legislation in most countries of Central America, including Guatemala. Research in the Global South reveals the ways stigma impedes the treatment of mental disorder, the creation of policy and the implementation of effective services. Supported by this literature, I hypotheses that the absence of mental health jurisdiction is caused by stigma prevalent in Guatemalan culture. The findings I will reveal the anxieties brought forth by violence, the common coping mechanisms employed by youth and, the impact of stigmatization on individuals' daily lives. Large-scale survey, interviews and life histories are combined with photography to map the cultural construction of mental health stigma and the implications of stigmatization. I invite you to join me as I present the research I conducted this summer and welcome your interdisciplinary discussion!