Jason Schnittker speaks about beliefs regarding mental illness.

Before I get to my regular post, I need to add a little something to my topic from last week. Tonight I watched the President’s address. On balance, I have to say that I really liked it. As is tradition, the opposition party broadcast a response following the address. The tradition is that the person chosen to give the response is a rising star within the party. Tonight was no exception: Bobby Jindal delivered the response.

I must confess that I didn’t watch the response. Tomorrow I’ll find out what he said, but I had absolutely no interest in hearing him speak. You see, Bobby Jindal is the evolution denying (pdf) exorcist Governor of Louisiana. And let me assure that these facts aren’t some closely guarded secret; it is common knowledge that Jindal is a creationist who claims to have once cured a woman of cancer by performing an exorcism on her. And yet (fully knowing his history) this is the man that the Republican party has chosen to be their face for this. It’s going to be a long, long, long, long time before I vote for a candidate from that party for any political office. [/political rant]

On the third of February, Jason Schnitker, an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, spoke to a snowy day depleted group at our monthly meeting. His presentation, An Uncertain Revolution: America’s Changing Beliefs Regarding Mental Illness, dealt with how the American public perceives mental illness (causes, treatment, stigma, etc.) and how those beliefs have evolved since 1950. The video is below, and his PowerPoint presentation can be found here (pdf).

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Jason Schnittker: America’s Changing Attitudes towards Mental Illness from Freethought Society on Vimeo.


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