Public Stigma of Mental Illness in the United States: A Systematic Literature Review
- 8.5k Downloads
Public stigma is a pervasive barrier that prevents many individuals in the U.S. from engaging in mental health care. This systematic literature review aims to: (1) evaluate methods used to study the public’s stigma toward mental disorders, (2) summarize stigma findings focused on the public’s stigmatizing beliefs and actions and attitudes toward mental health treatment for children and adults with mental illness, and (3) draw recommendations for reducing stigma towards individuals with mental disorders and advance research in this area. Public stigma of mental illness in the U.S. was widespread. Findings can inform interventions to reduce the public’s stigma of mental illness.
KeywordsPublic stigma Mental illness Systematic literature review
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, January 2010, Tampa, FL. This work was supported in part by the New York State Office of Mental Health, New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, National Institutes of Health Grant K01 MH09118 (PI: Cabassa) and the Implementation Research Institute (IRI) at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis through an award from the National Institute of Mental Health (R25 MH080916-01A2) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development, Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI). The authors would like to acknowledge the support of our research assistant, Rebeca Aragón, and the helpful comments of the journal reviewers.
- Boyd, J. E., Katz, E. P., Link, B. G., & Phelan, J. C. (2010). The relationship of multiple aspects of stigma and personal contact with someone hospitalized for mental illness, in a nationally representative sample. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 45(11), 1063–1070. doi: 10.1007/s00127-009-0147-9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Cabassa, L. J., Molina, G., & Baron, M. (2010). Depression Fotonovela: Development of a depression literacy tool for Latinos with limited English proficiency. Health Promotion Practice. doi: 10.1177/1524839910367578.
- Corbiere, M., Zaniboni, S., Lecomte, T., Bond, G., Gilles, P. Y., Lesage, A., et al. (2011). Job acquisition for people with severe mental illness enrolled in supported employment programs: A theoretically grounded empirical study. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21(3), 342–354. doi: 10.1007/s10926-011-9315-3.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Croghan, T. W., Tomlin, M., Pescosolido, B. A., Schnittker, J., Martin, J., Lubell, K., et al. (2003). American attitudes toward and willingness to use psychiatric medications. Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, 191(3), 166–174.Google Scholar
- Gonzalez, J. M., Alegria, M., Prihoda, T. J., Copeland, L. A., & Zeber, J. E. (2009). How the relationship of attitudes toward mental health treatment and service use differs by age, gender, ethnicity/race, and education. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. doi: 10.1007/s00127-009-0168-4.PubMedGoogle Scholar
- Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. (2001). Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. (2003). Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America. Final Report. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Service. DHHS publication SMA-03-3832.Google Scholar
- Pescosolido, B. A., Jensen, P. S., Martin, J. K., Perry, B. L., Olafsdottir, S., & Fettes, D. (2008). Public knowledge and assessment of child mental health problems: Findings from the national stigma study-children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(3), 339–349.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Pescosolido, B. A., Martin, J. K., Long, J. S., Medina, T. R., Phelan, J. C., & Link, B. G. (2010). “A disease like any other”? A decade of change in public reactions to schizophrenia, depression, and alcohol dependence. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 167(11), 1321–1330. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2010.09121743.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Schnittker, J., Freese, J., & Powell, B. (2000). Nature, nurture, neither, nor: Black-white differences in beliefs about the causes and appropriate treatment of mental illness. Social Forces, 78(3), 1101.Google Scholar
- Singhal, A., & Rogers, E. (1999). Entertainment-education: A communication strategy for social change. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Sood, S. (2002). Audience involvement and entertainment-education. Communication Theory, 12, 153–172.Google Scholar
- Stuart, H. (2009). Opening minds, an initiative of the Mental Health Commission of Canada: Selection of anti-stigma programs, summary and results. Mental Health Commission of Canada.Google Scholar
- Unger, J. B., Cabassa, L. J., Molina, G. B., Contreras, S., & Baron, M. (2012). Evaluation of a fotonovela to increase depression knowledge and reduce stigma among Hispanic adults. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. doi: 10.1007/s10903-012-9623-5.
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental health: A report of the surgeon general. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health.Google Scholar
- Walker, J. S., Coleman, D., Lee, J., Squire, P. N., & Friesen, B. J. (2008). Children’s stigmatization of childhood depression and ADHD: Magnitude and demographic variation in a national sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 47(8), 912–920.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar