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Mental Illness Stigma Among College Students And Its Impact on Mentally Ill Individuals

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amika matsui

on 8 August 2014

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Transcript of Mental Illness Stigma Among College Students And Its Impact on Mentally Ill Individuals

How Does Stigma Affect Mentally Ill Individuals?
- Support for students with mental illnesses on campus

Public Stigma
- Education
- Contact with mentally ill people
- Two articles: Corrigan et al. and Theriot

Mental Illness Stigma
Among College Students And Its Impact on Mentally Ill Individuals

Presented by Rahma Ismail, Jessica Louie, and Amika Matsui
Themes found concerning the
reduction of Stigma
Why is Stigma Especially Prevalent among College Students?
- Media: Students are mass consumers of media. Media frequently highlights negative aspects of mental illness, endorses link with violence.

-Higher GPA: more anxiety, worry, pressure about future. Undesirable outcomes like developing a mental disorder have negative view

- College Norms: (alcohol abuse, anxiety, stress-related disorders): Stress, drinking and anxiety are seen as something that all students go through
Media Seminars - M. Theriot (2013)
- previous education styles: brief lecture or presentation giving the facts about mental illness
- Theriot's seminars: several meetings, use media + lectures, class discussion
- results: improvements in perceptions of dangerousness, fear and segregation
- Corrigan et al. (2012)
According to Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), just over half of the adults in the United States with a serious mental illness received treatment for their mental health problems.
Why don't people get help?
Major factor:
Stigmatization of mental illness
Mental illness stigma more prevalent in college students
than the general population?
The Purpose of the Study
To explore why stigma is prevalent in college students as well as to understand the effects and possible solutions for this stigma.
Theoretical Frameworks of Stigma
1. Erving Goffman's theory of social stigma
an "attribute that is deeply discrediting" and that reduces the bearer "from a whole and usual person to a tainted, discounted one" (Goffman, 1963, p.3)

"Secrecy" as the potential coping mechanism
2. Jones and Colleagues' Dimensions of Stigma
Mental illness = "mark": a descriptor that encompasses the range of conditions considered deviant in society initiates stigmatizing process
3. Link and Phelan's Components of Stigma

Stigma exists when several component concepts converge
- labeling
- stereotyping
- separation
- status loss
- discrimination
through social, economic and political power
Public stigma against people with mental health problems is damaging to individuals with mental illness
People with mental illnesses suffer a double problem

Cope with the symptoms of the disease
Live independently
Achieve a satisfactory quality of life
Have to deal with the misunderstanding of society about the mental disorder and how it leads to
Language also seems to be a source of stigma
Society approves physical disabilities but not mental ones
Schizophrenia : Schizophrenic
Cancer: Has cancer
Why it's hard
Effects of stigma on Health Care seeking
Globally, only 30% of people with mental illness receive treatment from health care staff
In college students: only 24% diagnosed with depression are receiving treatment
20% with anxiety disorder receiving treatment
Factors responsible for the delay of health care include:
Prejudice against people who have mental illness
Expectation of discrimination against people diagnosed with mental illness.
individuals may be embarrassed about receiving treatment, so are less likely to perceived a need for or use of mental health services
Treatment Gap
This is a gap between true prevalence of mental illness and treated prevalence.

This gap can be affected by stigma and discrimination
Mental health patients don't go to facilities or hospitals until it's too late because they fear prejudice, labeling and stigma.

Symptoms are dismissed until they've experienced significant impairment or clinical symptoms and at this stage, the effects may be difficult to reverse.
Stigma has an effect on self- esteem and feelings of depression through feelings of being different and ashamed.

Stigma leads to modified labeling theory
Which leads to perceived devaluation, secrecy, and withdrawal

Loss of friends
Academic difficulties

Process of Stigmatization
: 3 theoretical frameworks

Prevalence of stigma in college students
: media, GPA, norms on campus

Effects of stigma
: double problem and help seeking, self stigma

Reduction of stigma
: support, contact, education
Similarities/ Differences
-Both these studies showed that education is a possible solution for stigma
- Corrigan et al. looked at the impact contact played in college student's stigma.
- Theriot study does not include contact with those with mental illnesses, but did indicate that further research combining his media seminars with contact may also prove to be effective

- discrepancies in effectiveness of education
Finishing education
86% of students with mental illness withdraw from college before completing their degree
It's very hard to work because it's hard to find a job
Employers discriminate
Not only does mental illnesses result in difficulties arising from symptoms, but also disadvantages through society's reactions
Self Stigma
What happens is some people with mental illnesses accept common prejudices about mental illness; turn against themselves and lose confidence
Literature Used in the Analysis
Types of Stigma

Public/social stigma:
Stigmatized individuals apply stigmatizing attitudes against themselves
begin to develop low self-esteem
Reactions of people in the general public toward members of another group based on stigmatizing attitudes and beliefs
Corrigan, P.W., Morris S.B., Michaels, P.J., Rafacz, J.D., Rusch, N. Challenging the Public Stigma of Mental Illness: A Meta- Analysis of Outcome Studies.
Psychiatric Services, 63(10), 963-973. doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201100529.
Eisenberg, D., Downs, M.F., Golberstein E., Zivin, K. (2009). Stigma and Help Seeking for Mental Health Among College Students. Medical Care Research and
Review, 66, 522-541. doi: 10.1177/1077558709335173.
Henderson, C., Evans-Lacko, S., & Thornicroft, G. (2013). Mental illness stigma, help seeking, and public health programs. American Journal of Public Health,
103(5), 777.
Link, B. G., Yang, L. H., Phelan, J. C., & Collins, P. Y. (2004). Measuring mental illness stigma. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 30(3), 511-541. doi:10.1093/
Rüsch, N., Angermeyer, M. C., & Corrigan, P. W. (2005). Mental illness stigma: Concepts, consequences, and initiatives to reduce stigma. European Psychiatry :
The Journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists, 20(8), 529-539. doi:10.1016/j.eurpsy.2005.04.004
National Institute of Mental Health. (2008). Use of mental health services and treatments among adults. Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/
Phelan, J. E., & Basow, S. A. (2007). College students' attitudes toward mental illness: An examination of the stigma process. Journal of Applied Social
Psychology, 37(12), 2877-2902. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2007.00286.x
Salzer, M.S. (2012). A Comparative Study of Campus Experiences of College Students With Mental Illnesses Versus a General College Sample. Journal of
American College Health, 60(1), 1-7. doi:10.1080/07448481.2011.552537
Stone, A.M., Merlo, L.J. Attitudes of College Students Towards Mental Illness Stigma and the Misuse of Psychiatric Medications. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry,
72(2), 134-141. doi: 10.4088/JCP.09m05254ecr.
Theriot, M. T. (2013). Using Popular Media to Reduce New College Students’ Mental Illness Stigma. Social Work in Mental Health, 11(2), 118-140.
Homicidal manics that should be feared
And therefore kept out of communities
Rebellious, free spirits
Irresponsible, life decisions should be made by others
Have child like perceptions of the world
Need to be cared for
More likely to be seen as causing their own illness

All these attitudes cause discriminatory
Need for further Research
- Research on individuals with higher tolerance rather than changing those with lower tolerance may help to understand that factors that lead to less stigma.

- self-stigma: look at impact college resources have
Model Policy for Supporting Students
- M. Salzer (2012)
- campus administration make explicit statement saying students with mental illnesses are welcome on campus
- accommodations and support: treatment, rehabilitative support available
- self-stigma reduction
- labeling will help students in their studies
- decrease in loss of status as a student
"Us" and "Them"
Labeling also implies a separation of "Us" and "Them"
This leads to the belief that "they" are fundamentally different than "us" and that "they"
actually the what they are labeled with.
Seen as completely different people
Why its hard living with Mental Illness and the double problem that it causes.
Self -Stigma and internalizing societal discrimination
Misconceptions and stereotypes and how that affects individuals
Us and them
Effects of stigma on Health Seeking behaviors
Treatment Gap

Why we looked at stigma in college students
Approximately three quarters of lifetime mental disorders have first onset by age 24, and about half of American youths attend post secondary education.

- Evidence from several studies have shown that stigma is especially prevalent in college students (Granello & Pauley, 200; Granello, et al. 1999, Thornton & Wahl, 1996)
- looked at the effects of antistigma approaches
- protest or social activism, education of public, contact with persons with mental illness
- literature review of 72 articles and reports
- Findings
- most positive effects for reducing stigma: education and contact
- adults: contact better than education
- adolescents: education more effective
- face-to-face contact more effective than video contact
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