Mental health consumer and caregiver perceptions of stigma in Australian community pharmacies

Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2014 Sep;60(6):533-43. doi: 10.1177/0020764013503149. Epub 2013 Sep 23.


Background: The stigma of mental illness can be a barrier to effective medication management in the community pharmacy setting. This article explored mental health consumers' or caregivers' experiences of stigma in Australian community pharmacies.

Materials: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of consumers or caregivers (n = 74). Interview transcripts were analysed using a general inductive approach.

Discussion: Stigma presented a barrier to effective mental health management. Self-stigma impeded consumers' community pharmacy engagement. Positive relationships with knowledgeable staff are fundamental to reducing stigma.

Conclusions: Findings provide insight into the stigma of mental illness in community pharmacies.

Keywords: Stigma; caregivers; community pharmacy; consumers; mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pharmacies*
  • Stereotyping*
  • Young Adult