How does the stigma associated with mental illness act as a barrier to seeking out help and successful engagement with psychological treatments? Academic Essay
Background: There is substantial theoretical and empirical evidence that the stigma, both perceived and real, associated with mental illness often acts as a barrier and prevents people from seeking out, or engaging with psychological treatments (Corrigan, 2005). There are two main types of stigma that are of particular interest in this area of research. Personal (self) stigma, which relates to the perceived stigma one can experience following a diagnosis of mental illness. There is evidence that personal stigma can act as a barrier to seeking out professional treatment. In aIDition, personal stigma can often lead to reduced self-esteem and self-efficacy (Livingston & Boyd, 2010) which has been found to reduce levels of engagement with treatment strategies and reduce the rates of efficacy (Corrigan, 2005). The second major type of stigma is Societal stigma, which refers to the stigma that occurs due to stereotypes about mental illness held by the community. Similarly, Social stigma has been suggested as one potential cause for reduced rates of seeking out and engaging with treatment (Abdullah & Brown, 2011). There are a number of strategies in place across the globe designed to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness. Many of these strategies have successfully reduced levels of stigma on a personal and societal level. These strategies tend to focus on either education or increasing levels of contact between those with mental illness and the wider community (Corrigan, 2012).How to approach this question: You should organise your essay so that you explain the role of stigma in mental illness before discussing a strategy to reduce stigma. You should write your essay as one piece of writing, do NOT write two completely separate mini essays to answer the question. You may divide your essay into two parts if you want, but they should clearly be connected.