Skip to main content
Burden of stigma on mentally ill and social exclusion
  • Amresh Srivastava, University of Western Ontario

Stigma of mental illness causes great burden on the patients and their families. It leads to discrimination, social exclusion and personal isolation. It occurs across all social, economic, and cultural class and geographical regions. As one of the greatest barrier to treatment and outcome, it is a potential clinical risk which leads to suicide, violence, physical impairment, physical illnesses, unemployment, and economic deprivation. People having mental illness suffer prejudice due to stigma. Anti-stigma measure is focussed on public health. Answer to stigma lies in personalised interventions. We carried out systematic studies to understand patient and family’s perception, and proposed clinical intervention in medical settings. Further we tried to quantify stigma for clinical usage, we constructed a measurement tool ‘Stigma Quantifying Scale’ (SQS). Our results showed that most patients felt that stigma originates from social factors. Both patients and relatives felt that stigma can be reduced and the best way to deal with stigma is to provide early treatment. The SQS measurement tool is being validated. The preliminary findings showed that patients with high level of suicide risk had greater stigma and discrimination, F (2, 27) =8.676, p< .01. Non-compliance was also related to stigma, F (1, 28) =5.701, p<. 05; individuals who did not comply with treatment reported higher stigma scores. Hospitalization, duration of illness and duration of treatment is positively correlated with high score of stigma We conclude that stigma is a clinical risk and anti-stigma interventions are required to be part of psychiatric treatment. Discrimination, isolation and exclusion can be reduced by clinical management of stigma. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This paper is based upon research done by me in India and now by an Indo-Canadian group of investigators: • Nilesh shah. MD, DPM, DNB, Professor of Psychiatry LTMG.Medical, College. Mumbai, India • Shubhangi Parkar MD, Ph.D (Vice Dean, Academics), KEM Hospital and Seth GS Medical College. Mumbai India) • Arman Panday, MD, research officer, LTMG Medical college, Mumbai (India) • Yves Bureau Ph.D. Lawson health research Institute., the Western university, London, Ontario • Nitika Riwari M.Sc., PMP , Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario • Megan Johnston, MA.University of Toronto, • Robby Campbell FRCPC Associate professor of Psychiatry, The Western University,London, Ontario

Publication Date
October 24, 2013
Citation Information
Amresh Srivastava. "Burden of stigma on mentally ill and social exclusion" (2013)
Available at: