Social Stigma of Depression and its impact on an individual seeking help
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Only a third of people who experience a mental illness are believed to seek professional help (World Health Organisation, 2017). Depression is a common mental illness which is estimated to affect one in twelve people. However, despite the commonality of the mental health condition, social stigma is still often associated with mental illness, and this may act as a potential barrier for an individual who is experiencing depression to seek treatment (Mental Health Foundation, 2017). The purpose of this research study is to investigate the influence that stigma may have on a person to seek help for depression. Methods used in this research study consisted of a systematic review, which considers all the available research on a specific subject, and uses a replicable and transparent search strategy. It critically appraises the research for validity, and analyses multiple existing studies in order to find common themes within the data, to produce findings and draw conclusions (Bronson and Davis, 2012). In this small-scale research study, the researcher identified various themes that were drawn from four primary research studies, these consisted of stigmatized identity, gendered, perceptions of professional help and personal responsibility of recovery. This study recommends that health care professionals should receive more training in order to increase their awareness of the stigma that is often associated with mental illness, and how this may affect an individual who is experiencing depression to seek professional help. It also recommends that further research is required into stigma and depression, and its impact on help seeking intentions.
BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care
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