Stigmatization and Society’s Inclusiveness Across Cultures
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There is apparently no country, society, or culture where people with mental illnesses are treated equally to those without such conditions. Mental health stigma, or the devaluation and discrimination expressed towards, and experienced by, people affected by mental health problems, constitutes a global, multifaceted concern.
The importance of recognizing and addressing stigmatization is evident in the negative outcomes it can have on people affected by it. Stigmatization has been shown to have negative impacts on social inclusion and well-being. This can manifest, for example, as an increased risk of victimization and contact with the criminal justice system, abandoning life goals, exclusion from education and employment, and poor access to health care for problems related to both physical and mental health. It may well contribute to the increased risk of sexual and physical abuse experienced by children with disabilities, particularly those with intellectual or mental disabilities.
This chapter addresses stigmatization, exploring theoretical definitions, reviewing the significant public health impacts, and outlining evidence-based approaches to reducing stigma and discrimination in services and policy frameworks.
KeywordsStigma Discrimination Child mental health Global mental health
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