Prompt: In what ways has your attitude toward your social issue changed over the course of the project?
By participating in the YPI project, as well as getting to work with an amazing non-profit organization, Fountain House, my view on the social issue of mental illness has changed. Before I did this project, I was under educated about what a mental illness is, and I was hesitant when I would walk by a mentally ill person on the street. It definitely was unintended and stigma, but I was part of the community putting stigma on the mentally ill.
Now, I do not feel this way, and I feel badly that I ever was part of the group of people that placed an unfair stigma on the mentally ill. From researching mental illness and getting the opportunity to see Fountain House firsthand and witnessing how much their members love it and see how they are all so tightly connected with such support and love for one another, and how within the walls of Fountain House, there is absolutely no stigma, I learned more about mental illness. I learned that a mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. I realized that people living with a mental illness are not a danger to society whatsoever, but they enhance our society. By doing this project, I realized that the stigma we put on the mentally ill is the most significant problem, and that we should by no means discriminate against the mentally ill. We should not place them in a different part of society, forcing isolation upon them and not allowing them to be part of a working society; instead we should encourage and support the mentally ill, and help educate people about mental illness to make an effort to de-stigmatize mental illness.