Marie Clark 10/13/2019Social InequalitySOC 220Poverty, Social Inequality and Mental HealthThe World Health Organization (WHO) stated in 1995, “The world’s most ruthless killer and the greatest cause of suffering on earth is extreme poverty.” (Murali & Oyebode, 2004) This statement highlights the impact that poverty can have on health. Poverty is a complex issue and has several different definitions dependent on the type and level of poverty being assessed. The United States measures poverty within the definition of absolute poverty, “an economic level below which people are unable to achieve the basic necessities of life.” (Sullivan, 2016) Poverty can be a direct or indirect factor in the development of proper emotional, behavioral, and mental health. The economic gap between the poor and rich of the world is widening. Due to this growing gap social inequalities exist. The poor are exposed to dangerous environments, have lowlevel stressful and unrewarding employment, and lack the necessities needed in life. The poor arenot seen as a part of mainstream society further isolating this group from gaining information and support needed. It is common knowledge; the lowest-income groups are more likely to suffernegatively due to risky health behaviors than those more economically established. These actionsare not taken to cause harm, but are as coping mechanism. Poor people are subjected to more
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