Mental Health Stigma
Let’s get serious for a moment. There’s a problem. Something’s not right. Well, don’t just sit there, do something about it!
According to a new study published in Psychological Medicine, approximately 1 in 4 people have a mental health problem, yet in Europe and the US, up to 75 percent of people with mental health disorders do not receive treatment. Why is that? Mental health stigma seems to be the key factor in preventing people from accessing the care they need. Delaying, or avoiding care yields negative outcomes for many disorders such as bipolar disorder, major depression, or anxiety disorders to name a few.
stig·ma (stigmə) noun – a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person
Because of this stigma that people have about being “mental health patients,” people put off seeing a doctor for months, years, or even at all. Out of ten, stigma was ranked the fourth highest barrier for obtaining care. The types of stigma preventing people from receiving care are
Treatment stigma – associated with using mental health services or receiving mental health treatment; and
Internalized stigma – shame, or embarrassment
Other barriers people encounter include fear of disclosing a mental health condition, concerns about confidentiality, wanting to handle the problem on one’s own, and not believing they needed help. Types of people most likely to have stigma about mental health care are young people, men, minorities, and those in the military and health professions.
The stigma is real. Prevent the progression of negative outcomes on your mental health and get help. Not getting help is more dangerous to you and others than getting help.