Monday, April 21, 2008

Stigma and help-seeking

Many people do not seek the help they need for their mental-health problems. One theory as to why this might be is that the stigma associated with mental illness puts people off looking for help. A survey of 2,782 college students in the U.S. found that perceived stigma was higher among men, older students, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and students with current mental-health problems. Perceived stigma was also higher among those whose friends and family had not used mental-health services and among those who believed that therapy or medication are not very helpful. Those who saw the most stigma in mental illness thought that they were the least likely to need help. Among those people with depression and anxiety there was no link between perceived stigma and the propensity to seek help.

Golberstein, Ezra, Eisenberg, Daniel and Gollust, Sarah E. - Perceived stigma and mental health care seeking Psychiatric Services April 2008, 59(4), 392-399

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