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Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2013 Nov;35(209):272-8.

[Social exclusion and discrimination of chronically mentally ill people in the Lodz region].

[Article in Polish]

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Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi, Zakład Psychologii Lekarskiej, Katedra Nauk Humanistycznych.
Stowarzyszenie Młodziezy i Osób z Problemami Psychicznymi, Ich Rodzin i Przyjacół POMOST.
Uniwersytet Medyczny w Łodzi, Zakład Psychologii Lekarskiej, Katedra Nauk Humanistycznych.
Akademickie Biuro Karier, Politechnika Łódzka.


Mental crisis exerts a negative effect on somatic, psychological and social functioning of a mentally ill person. Mental disease is often accompanied by factors increasing the social exclusion and discrimination of patients. Another problem is deeply rooted stereotypes and prejudices functioning in the public opinion, according to which people who suffer from mental disorder are considered insane and often dangerous for society. In Poland, thanks to, amongst others, the ESF (The European Social Fund) funds, it is possible to finance and implement research concerning social exclusion and discrimination of people who have experienced a mental crisis. The aim of the study was to evaluate the level of social exclusion and discrimination of people suffering from mental disorders from the Lodz region on the basis of seven points scale assessing their personal, occupational, and social functioning. MATERIAL AND METHODS; The study included a group of 101 patients with mental disorders. Participants were selected randomly from mental health institutions from the region of Lodz. To evaluate the problem of social exclusion in the group of patients a interview questionnaire was used.


Social exclusion concerned people suffering from schizophrenia and psychosis, more than six years of illness, those with allocated disability pension, non-working and non-learning, with the lowest levels of education and maintaining a one-person household or living with one parent. Those who experienced the lowest degree of social exclusion were mainly people suffering from mood disorders, people with higher education, learning and working, living with both parents. Groups experiencing discrimination were mostly people with schizophrenia, disorders due to psychoactive substances, those with secondary and professional education, patients having a certificate of disability and maintaining a one-person household.


Social exclusion of mentally ill people was mainly related to their low education, civic, social and economic activity. The problem of discrimination concerned 17% of the tested group. Half of participants of the study did not experience the discrimination effect.

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