Stigma In Limiting Access To Care

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A range of aspects of life, such as education and employment, physical health, and interpersonal connections are affected by mental illness throughout the diagnosis, treatment and recovery stages, and often continue to affect beyond an individual’s recovery from mental illness. Although many effective mental health interventions are available, people often do not seek out the care they need. Stigma as defined by the Western Australian state government is “a mark of disgrace that sets a person apart” while self-stigma, as defined by the mental health organisation SANE Australia is “when we accept other people’s negative, inaccurate views of ourselves”. In the medical setting, negative stereotypes can mean that providers are more likely to focus…show more content…
In the second issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest Vol. 15, Corrigan, Druss and Perlick (2014) discuss the role of stigma in limiting access to care and in discouraging people from pursuing mental health treatment. From a public standpoint, the stereotypes that people with mental illness are dangerous, unpredictable, responsible for their illness (Crisp et al, 2000), or generally inept, can lead to active discrimination, such as excluding people with these conditions from employment and social or educational opportunities (Parle S 2012). Furthermore, service users have recorded incidents of social discrimination in the community, such as being physically and verbally attacked by neighbours as well as strangers, having their property vandalised, or being barred from entering a range of businesses, and that those with addictions or psychotic illness were more likely to experience this than those with non-psychotic illness. Examples of being spoken to as if they were stupid or like children, patronising behaviour and attitude from the community and, in some instances, having questions addressed to those accompanying them rather than service users themselves were also reported (Lyons et al, 2009). These displays of discrimination can become internalised, leading to the…show more content…
The prejudices that the mental health professionals surrounding people with mental illness also adds to the self-stigma which, increasing the “why try” effect, may tend to lead towards a cycle of stigma and lack of effective
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