Study: Mental Illness Stigma Reduced In Scotland
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 10, 2005
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND--According to a report published Friday, the stigma attached to mental illness has nearly disappeared in Scotland.
The second national survey of public attitudes toward mental health showed that 98 percent of Scots believe that anyone can experience a mental illness, while 88 percent believe people with mental illness should have the same rights as everyone else.
For the study, entitled "Well? What do you think?", researchers conducted face-to-face interviews of 1,401 Scots between May and August of 2004.
Surveyors found that just 15 percent of respondents believed in 2004 that people with mental illness are dangerous, compared with 32 percent in the first survey done in 2002. Also, the number of respondents who felt that the public should be better protected from those with mental health problems dropped from 34 percent in 2002 to just 24 percent in the 2004 survey.
"Although it is too early to say whether these figures constitute a permanent trend, it is extremely encouraging to see that attitudes in Scotland towards mental health are changing for the better," said Deputy Health Minister Rhona Brankin in a press statement.
"By encouraging discussion of mental health, we can increase understanding which, in turn promotes tolerance. Much work has been done over the last two years to improve mental health and well-being and in particular to address the stigma which can be associated with mental health problems."
"But we are not complacent and will continue to break down the barriers that mental health problems can bring," Brankin concluded. "The most important thing is that attitudes are moving in the right direction and we will strive to build on this."
Research Findings "Well? What do you think?" (Scottish Executive Social Research)
Publication "Well? What do you think?" (Scottish Executive Social Research)