Mental Health In Thorton Wilder's Our Town

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Mental health has long been put on the back burner in society, stigma and misunderstanding are rooted in the issue of assisting those struggling with mental health issues. In years prior, there has been limited comprehension of what it truly means to internally struggle with one's thoughts. The stigma rooted in society can be seen over 100 years ago in the early 1900s. As seen in Thorton Wilder’s Our Town, proper mental health care has been ignored, and placing shame on those struggling has been implemented rather than researching proper care techniques and taking time to understand the struggles of those who have a difficult time staying mentally afloat, society has taken the easy route when dealing with the ‘burden’ of those with mental illness. …show more content…

Grover's Corners has an immensely strong sense of community. The tight bond between community members helps with fostering a healthy society during the time period. As simply said by the stage manager of the play, “In our town, we like to know the facts about everybody” (Wilder Act I). The strong sense of community may be misleading to its members. They believe that they know everything there is to know about everyone. However, in reality, the problems someone is facing are not always explicitly evident. Simon's silent struggle was not a unique case. This was happening throughout the world but it was highly frowned upon to mention. Although everyone in Grover's Corners was aware that Simon Stimson was a drunk, they were not enlightened on the toll it took on his mental health, ultimately leading to his …show more content…

Over the past decades that have passed since 1901, the stigma surrounding mental health issues and the presence of healthcare opportunities has decreased dramatically. For example, the growth of education regarding mental illness has skyrocketed. Also, from a legal standpoint, many policies have been implemented to protect the rights of those struggling from mental health issues, such as The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. Whether from oneself who is struggling or from a loved one, it has become somewhat standard to at least make an attempt to help the struggling mind. The normalization of mental illness has primarily been seen in the entertainment industry, something that tended to be very forbidden in the past. Normalizing relatable lifestyles has become extremely popular. Malyna Johnson, an assistant Professor at Indiana State University, and Christopher J Olson, a Ph.D. candidate at University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, state, “ Thankfully, throughout the past decade numerous books, movies, and television shows have featured characters that offer new and more accurate viewpoints of mental health lifestyles. These characters often speak openly about the struggles of living with depression, panic attacks, even autism” (Johnson and Olson). Just decades ago, television programs were not allowed to display a

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