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Psychiatr Q. 1998 Fall;69(3):235-47.

The stigma of severe mental illness: some potential solutions for a recalcitrant problem.

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Department of Psychology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 70803-5501, USA.


Despite recent advances in the treatment of individuals with severe mental illness (SMI), their full integration into society is hindered by lingering negative attitudes towards them. In this paper, a brief overview is provided on stigmatization towards individuals with SMI, including its' impact on quality of life and self-esteem, as well as the factors which likely underlie it. Research is reviewed showing that lowered negative perceptions towards persons with SMI are associated with previous contact with this population and with presentation of empirically-based information on the association between violence and SMI. Limitations of these findings are discussed with an eye towards developing improved techniques for reducing stigma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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