Mental Health Stigma In The United States

763 Words4 Pages
Mental health stigma is a pervasive problem in the United States and in the world. In fact, the stigma surrounding mental health and mental illness can lead to a number of negative health outcomes for those who fall victim to it. For the purposes of this paper, the terms “mental health stigma” and “mental illness stigma” will be used interchangeably. Studies providing a more global view of the mental health stigma in the United States are few and far between, meaning that more research is necessary to expand knowledge surrounding the stigma. In addition, studies examining the effect of the mental health stigma in restricted demographics are also limited, indicating that more research is again indispensable in order to explore demographic differences…show more content…
al, 2015; Pearl et. al, 2017). Because of this, it is important that future studies are conducted that investigate the prevalence of the mental health stigma in the United States so that nation-wide programs may be directed to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness. Enumerating on the negative effects of the mental illness stigma is relatively easy given the fact that there is considerable research on the subject. For example, Corrigan (2004) notes that mental health stigma is linked to decreased access to mental health care in those who need it, which in turn exacerbates their situation and further perpetuates the idea that lack of proper mental health care is acceptable. According to Oexle et. al (2015), mental illness stigma is linked to a higher risk for suicidal ideation and feelings of hopelessness in those with mental health problems, which results in an increased risk of suicide. In addition, the effects of the stigma can be seen throughout the therapeutic process. As Pearl et. al note (2017), increased internalized stigma is associated with worse mental health condition, and decreased stigma results in decreased symptomatic severity in those with mental health issues. This means that if someone feels highly stigmatized throughout the treatment process that they will likely recover more slowly than those who feels less stigmatized. This again proves why it is important to study which populations suffer the most from mental health stigmatization so that it can be properly addresses in hopes of reducing the countless negative effects associated with
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