August 13, 2014

Better understanding of mental illness, but stigma still exists

            Americans are developing more of an understanding of the biological basis for mental illness and addiction, but that that knowledge has not resulted in a reduction in stigma toward addicts and the mentally ill, according to a poll reviewed by the Washington Post.

“There was no support that greater scientific understanding translated into reduced prejudice in the United States or elsewhere,” wrote Bernice Pescosolido, director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research, who oversaw the study.

            Nearly 15 percent of American adults sought treatment for mental illness during 2012. However, the majority of Americans report that they would not like to work with someone who has a mental illness, or have that person as a neighbor.

            The suicide of actor Robin Williams has produced many calls for more discussion of mental health issues.

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