Stigma, prejudice, and discrimination against people with mental illness can be subtle or overt, but regardless of their magnitude, they can cause harm. People with mental health issues are often marginalized and discriminated against in a variety of ways, but understanding what that means and how to address and eradicate it can help. Another common obstacle to mental health treatment is the general lack of mental health education and awareness. People may not be aware of the signs of mental illness or how treatment can help.
Fear of being judged by family and friends, or of facing adverse treatment and perception at work, can also be a barrier to seeking help. Across the country, numerous organizations and campaigns focus on addressing the problem of mental health stigma and discrimination. It's time to use the best features of these technologies to start motivating patients and creating a more efficient and more responsive health system to address current mental health care issues. In addition to stigma, prejudice, and discrimination, there is also a lack of available services caused by a combination of a high demand for treatment and a low supply of trained professionals.
In rural and low-income communities, there can be a significant shortage of mental health providers and services. Even among those who are willing to help, approximately one in four workers said they wouldn't know who to turn to for mental health help. Distrust in the mental health system can also be an obstacle to seeking help among some groups, including the African-American community. According to research by the American Psychological Association and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 84 percent of psychologists, 67 percent of social workers, and 88 percent of mental health counselors are white.
The study found that watching the movie was associated with higher levels of prejudice toward people with mental illness. It is essential that we take steps to address these three key issues facing people with mental health issues: stigma, prejudice, discrimination, lack of education and awareness, lack of available services, distrust in the mental health system, and lack of diversity in mental health providers. We must work together to create an environment where people feel safe seeking help for their mental health needs without fear of judgement or discrimination. We must also ensure that everyone has access to quality mental health care services regardless of their location or income level. Finally, we must strive for greater diversity in the mental health field so that everyone has access to culturally competent care.