Individuals diagnosed with mental illness encounter stigma and discrimination
under various circumstances and these negatively affect them. Even though support
systems and attitudes of the general public act as sources of stigma, perceptions held by
the patients also influence their sensitivity to the experiences they encounter. The purpose
of this study was to describe the role of personal factors in bringing about stigma.It also
explored the public attitudes toward individuals diagnosed with mental illness. The study
described coping mechanisms used by individuals with mental illness in relation to their
stigma experiences, as well as to identify ways of reducing the stigma against them. The
effects of stigma on people diagnosed with mental illness were also described.
The research adopted a descriptive-exploratory method using semi-structured interview
guide to elicit subjective responses from out-patients at the Accra psychiatric hospital. The
investigator purposively sampled and interviewed 12 out-patients coming for review. All
the interviews were conducted in English. Thematic content analysis was applied in
analyzing the data. Even though the results revealed different public behaviors such as
social isolation, discrimination, mocking, labeling and gossips, as disturbing, the
participants were also found to stigmatize themselves. They used various mechanisms in
dealing with stigma including secrecy, withdrawal, relaxation techniques, confrontation,
interaction with people, ignoring the stigmatizing agent, and in-group comparisons. The
impact of the stigma experiences on participants was diverse. These include devaluing,
loss of their partners in the form of separation, and divorce, exclusion, unemployment and
the loss of self esteem. The participants mentioned public education, enacting laws that
seek to protect and promote patient rights as well as government support, social support
and inclusion as measures that could help reduce mental illness stigma in the community.
To completely understand stigma associated with mental illness, the views of the patients
Perceived Psychosocial Impact of Stigma on Patients Being Treated at Accra Psychiatric Hospital
in decision making is key. It is worth noting that despite the labels attached to them by
society, no matter how they appear, they harbor ideas that would help them live
independent lives such as training for good jobs, adequate salaries, taking part in social
activities in the community, decent shelter, and effective and affordable healthcare.
Patients would therefore need support from all sectors including families, friends,
employers, the Ministry of health and its subsidiary the Ghana health service, and the
general public in order to be able to overcome stigma and the effects associated with it.
Edu, F (2021). Perceived Psychosocial Impact Of Stigma On Patients Being Treated At Accra Psychiatric Hospital. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 13, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/perceived-psychosocial-impact-of-stigma-on-patients-being-treated-at-accra-psychiatric-hospital
Frontiers, Edu. "Perceived Psychosocial Impact Of Stigma On Patients Being Treated At Accra Psychiatric Hospital" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/perceived-psychosocial-impact-of-stigma-on-patients-being-treated-at-accra-psychiatric-hospital . Accessed 13 May. 2021.
Frontiers, Edu. "Perceived Psychosocial Impact Of Stigma On Patients Being Treated At Accra Psychiatric Hospital". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 27 Apr. 2021. Web. 13 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/perceived-psychosocial-impact-of-stigma-on-patients-being-treated-at-accra-psychiatric-hospital >.
Frontiers, Edu. "Perceived Psychosocial Impact Of Stigma On Patients Being Treated At Accra Psychiatric Hospital" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 13, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/perceived-psychosocial-impact-of-stigma-on-patients-being-treated-at-accra-psychiatric-hospital