Stigmatizing attitudes towards mental illness : implications on clients' families

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Stigmatizing attitudes towards mental illness : implications on clients' families


Author: Tam, kwok-ching
Title: Stigmatizing attitudes towards mental illness : implications on clients' families
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Mentally ill -- China -- Hong Kong
Mentally ill -- China -- Hong Kong -- Family relationships
Discrimination against the mentally ill -- China -- Hong Kong
Department: Dept. of Rehabilitation Sciences
Pages: ix, 117, [36] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: Background: Previous research has shown that mental illness brought heavy burden to relatives of mental health consumers, and that stigmatization of mental illness hindered consumers' recovery. However, there was little information on the relationship between stigma and family burden. This study explored the possible links between stigmatization and the burden on consumers' relatives. Methods: In Phase One of the study, a description of people's attitudes towards mental health consumers was obtained through a questionnaire survey, the respondents being 1007 friends and relatives of primary and secondary school students. In Phase Two, individual interviews were conducted with 10 family members of persons with mental illness, to seek their views and experience of stigma and burden. Results from the two phases of the study were compared and discussed in the context of mental health services in Hong Kong. Results: Stigmatization of mental health consumers was evident in the community. Not only did stigma directly affect the social participation of consumers and families, but the marginalization reflected in social policies and mental health services also fostered isolation and dependence of consumers, leading to practical and emotional burden on their relatives. Conclusions: Stigmatization increased the burden on relatives of mental health consumers. To combat stigma and adopt a proactive approach to rehabilitation are necessary measures to ease the burden on consumers' families.

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