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Mental health stigma in Ireland: exploring occupational therapists perspectives

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thesis
posted on 2013-06-13, 13:59 authored by Louise Hanby
Stigma is considered the main barrier to recovery for people living with a mental illness. The process of stigma can be inconspicuous, operating through individual, systemic, institutional and structural levels and can leave those working in mental health care unsure of their role in the stigma process. Semi-structured interviews explored views of nine occupational therapists working in mental health, focusing on their perspectives of stigma and drawing on experiences of stigma acting as a barrier to their client’s recovery. The purpose of this research was to develop a greater understanding of forces that perpetuate mental health stigma. The results suggest that the invisibility of mental illness is a major element of stigma that warrants attention. working in mental health primarily address stigma at an individual level. The main force perpetuating mental health stigma was identified as structural discrimination. Finally, the findings suggest the need for occupational therapists to reflect on their role in stigma management and to establish a channel in which to inform wider mental health practice of the need to target structural levels of discrimination. This study will be of particular relevance to occupational therapist working in mental health and endeavours to deepen their understanding of the stigma process.

History

Degree

  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Salmon, Nancy

Note

non-peer-reviewed

Language

English

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