Stigma of mental illness

Singapore Med J. 2001 Mar;42(3):111-4.


Background: Psychiatric patients carry the additional burden of stigma.

Methods: The views of 300 psychiatric out-patients and day-patients and 100 mental health workers concerning stigma were sought. The control group comprised 50 cardiac out-patients.

Results: A fair proportion of patients with schizophrenia or depression perceived that stigma had a negative effect on their self-esteem, relationships and job opportunities. The majority felt a need for an increase in public awareness of mental illness. In contrast, the cardiac patients reported very little stigmatization.

Conclusions: The diagnostic label of mental illness may render the person vulnerable to stigmatization. Possible causes of stigma and ways of reducing stigma are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Attitude
  • Data Collection
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Pilot Projects
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Self Concept
  • Sex Distribution
  • Stereotyping*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires