Stigma as a barrier to mental health care

September 6, 2014 1:48 AM

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Stigma as a barrier to mental health care

Over 60 million Americans are thought to experience mental illness in a given year, and the impacts of mental illness are undoubtedly felt by millions more in the form of family members, friends, and coworkers. Despite the availability of effective evidence-based treatment, about 40% of individuals with serious mental illness do not receive care and many who begin an intervention fail to complete it. A new report, published in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, investigates stigma as a significant barrier to care for many individuals with mental illness.

"The prejudice and discrimination of mental illness is as disabling as the illness itself. It undermines people attaining their personal goals and dissuades them from pursuing effective treatments," says psychological scientist Patrick W. Corrigan of the Illinois Institute of Technology, lead author...

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