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Reducing mental illness stigma and discrimination — everybody's business

Barbara Hocking
Med J Aust 2003; 178 (9): 47-48.

Summary

  • The stigma associated with schizophrenia is pervasive, both in the community and among healthcare workers, and forms a real barrier to optimal recovery from the illness.

  • The negative consequences of stigma include discrimination in housing, education and employment, and increased feelings of hopelessness in people with schizophrenia.

  • Health professionals have a responsibility to improve their own attitudes and behaviour towards people with schizophrenia so they do not contribute to the stigma.

  • Educational campaigns aimed at people in the community and media personnel could help to demystify mental illness and reduce the portrayal of offensive stereotypes of people with schizophrenia.

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  • Barbara Hocking

  • SANE Australia, South Melbourne, VIC.

Correspondence: barbara.hocking@sane.org

Competing interests:

None identified.

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