It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Fun*Run Time

It's ALREADY that time of year again: The ADAPT Fun*Run for Disability Rights is April 22nd 2012. Maryland's fundraising goal is $8,000 this year. Yes, that's right, $8,000

Donate $1! Donate $10! Donate $100! Donate $1,000! JUST DONATE so we can FREE OUR PEOPLE! I thank you very much for your support!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Students & Stigma

The topic came up last night before group about students who come. Over the year+ time I have been attending group I'd say we've had students 4 or 5 times. I don't know why they always come in pairs. This is something I never have a problem with, in fact, I welcome it. Apparently, most of the few people there that night (attendance has been down this summer) have a HUGE problem with it.

Most people say it makes them feel self conscious, that they censor what they say, one person, who I've only seen in group maybe 3 times said he doesn't have a problem with them being there, but he'd leave.

The students generally come way before group and talk to a facilitator, get some literature that OOO Balto & OOO MD put out, and the facilitator gives a description of who we are and what we do. It's usually a pretty sizable conversation as the students have specific criteria of what they need to know. People don't seem to have a problem with that. They ALWAYS ask professionally/politely if they can stay, and I guess people feel uncomfortable saying no in their presence.

I however feel like it is a GREAT thing. I know from having to do things like this that using names and giving anything more then a very general overview of what went on during the meeting is strictly prohibited. Any student who broke anonymity/confidentiality would get in SERIOUS trouble. Click on the On Our Own tag below. I probably write more specifics then they do.

I feel like this is a great thing because it goes a long way in breaking down stigma. Students get to see that really we're just dealing with the same things they are, such as job searching which seems to be the most common topic of conversation these days. We're not "crazy." I feel like as human service workers they will be less likely to stigmatize the clients they work with and will be more likely to recommend services when they have a thorough understanding of how it works. I feel like allowing students to stay will make them better professionals. How is this in anyway a bad thing???

The person who said he would leave agrees with me that allowing students to stay does break down stigma, but he doesn't want to be the poster child stigma buster (I cannot remember how he said it). That makes me sad. This is something that takes no effort in this instance. I just can't wrap his comment around my mind.


Adelaide Dupont said...

Even if I can't have my friend there, it's good that friends can be brought.

Yes, to the self-consciousness. Humans talk.

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