“World Survey of Mental Illness Stigma” in the Journal of Affective Disorders

RIWI’s CEO, CTO and colleagues at the University of Toronto have published “World Survey of Mental Illness Stigma” in the Journal of Affective Disorders. The study’s objective was to obtain rapid and reproducible opinions that address mental illness stigma around the world.

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Over a period of 1.7 years, 596,712 respondents from 229 countries completed the online survey. The response rate was 54.3%.

Study Highlights

  • Worldwide Web users in 229 countries reported their attitudes on mental illness
  • 7% of replies from developed countries felt that the mentally ill were more violent
  • 15% of replies from developing countries felt that the mentally ill were more violent
  • 45% of replies from developed countries felt mental illness to be like physical illness
  • Only 7% of replies from developed countries thought the illness could be overcome

“Stigma – or even the perception of stigma – around mental illness is shown to prevent people from obtaining proper medical care. But only by first standardizing measurement can jurisdictions begin to compare and contrast methods to eliminate it. This initiative to create unique global comparative indicators of awareness, stigma, and/or surveillance can help put Canada on a path to be a leader in identifying where the problems are and implementing the best solutions for the best outcomes in mental health.”
–Katie W. Robinette, Executive Director, Healthy Minds Canada
 

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