Stigma Surrounding Mental Health


Many people with mental illness are not willing to participate or obtain mental health services anymore because of the underlying stigma. People have decided not to seek mental health care completely to avoid the harm associated with mental illness and its label. The stigma surrounding mental health is impeding treatment participation in many health care units. This is because it robs the social opportunities of the people by lowering their self-esteem. In this paper, I tend to outline the possible strategies and recommendations for fighting such stigma. The paper will comprehensively define the meaning of the stigma and general understanding of the stigma surrounding mental health.

The purpose of this paper is to relate and expound on the concept of stigma concerning mental health and how it applies to generic concepts of mental problems. The paper aims to provide better ways of dealing with stigma, including obtaining the specific health treatment one needs (“Supplemental Material for Mental Illness, Problem, Disorder, Distress: Does Terminology Matter When Measuring Stigma?”). There are better ways to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health; for instance, it is advisable to encourage patients with mental problems to eliminate the fear associated with labeling them with mental issues and avoid believing in such. To effectively fight the stigma, the victims should be informed of the essence of not believing in their conditions and themselves.

Mental illness is not a sign of weakness and is rarely something you can deal with on your own. Talking about your mental health issues with healthcare professionals will help you on your road to recovery or management. There is a need to challenge the stigma associated with mental illness and encourage everyone to play a key role in establishing a mentally healthy society by involving victims in their daily activities.


In simple terms, stigma can be defined as when someone perceives or negatively describes another person because of his or her mental problems or illness. Discrimination and social stigma can increase a person’s mental illness and limit the patient from obtaining medical care. This has raised concern because most mentally ill people are unwilling to obtain medicine or treatment (Beedle et al.). There are four social-cognitive processes associated with stigma: prejudice, cues, discrimination, and stereotypes. However, such patients’ physical fitness and wellness enhance their well-being by increasing their mental alertness, positive moods, and energy. Nevertheless, self-esteem can be increased by engaging in regular physical activities.

Purpose and Implication

Elaboration of definition

From the above definition of stigma, it is clear that most people with mental illness will not receive medication help due to stigmatization. The fear of being treated differently by their colleagues raises a concern making them unable to seek help or fear being isolated or losing livelihood and jobs. The problem is affecting these people because discrimination, stigma, and prejudice usually affect the moods and self-esteem of such people.

Importance of the concept

The illustrating effects of stigma surrounding mental health illustrates how discrimination and stigma can lead to worse symptoms and reduce the likelihood of obtaining better medication. Recent research shows that self-stigma can contribute to negative effects on recovery among diagnosed people and found with mental problems. The research showed that interacting with those people with mental illness reduces stigmatization and discrimination since it becomes more relatable, real, and less scary.

The implication of stigma to physical fitness and wellness

Physical fitness and wellness are essential public health tools used to prevent and treat several mental diseases. Engaging in physical activities can help treat psychiatric disorders like anxiety and depression disorders (Vaa Stelling and West 682). However, excessive or extraneous activities can lead to mental illness and impair mental health. Therefore, it should be regulated. Having physical fitness and wellness benefits people with anxiety symptoms and depression.


Stigma can be categorized into three forms which include institutional stigma, self-stigma, and public stigma. For instance, public stigma involves the discriminatory and negative attitudes that other people have about mental diseases. Self-stigma refers to people’s negative attitudes with time, not limited to internalized shame about themselves and stopping associating with other people (Tran 943). Institutional stigma is more complex and systematic since it involves governmental and private policies that unintentionally or intentionally limit opportunities for people with mental problems.


In conclusion, it is advisable to find better ways to eliminate stigmatization and discrimination, especially in all institutions offering medications for mental illness. Moreover, encouraging such individuals to participate in physical activities will improve their physical fitness, wellness, and self–esteem, which improves their mental health (Tran 943). In particular, the threat of social diminished or disapproval of self-esteem associated with labeling such patients will account for stigma limiting them from assessing health services.

Alternatively, people with mental illness are advised to seek better treatment and stop being influenced or fearing to seek help from labels attached to them. The stigma should not cause shame and self-doubt, which lowers their self-esteem, making them feel neglected and discriminated against. They should seek education, guidance, and counseling services to improve their well-being and positive attitudes towards their life.

Works Cited

Vaa Stelling, Brianna E. and Colin P. West. “Faculty Disclosure of Personal Mental Health History and Resident Physician Perceptions of Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness.” Academic Medicine, vol. 96, no. 5, 2021, pp. 682-685, Web.

“Supplemental Material for Mental Illness, Problem, Disorder, Distress: Does Terminology Matter When Measuring Stigma?” Stigma and Health, 2021, Web.

Beedle, Robert, et al. “Stigma Differences Surrounding Behavioral Stereotypes of Mental Health Consumers.” PsycEXTRA Dataset, 2010, Web.

Tran, Ben. “Understanding and Addressing the Stigma in Mental Health within the Asian and Asian-American Culture.” Research Anthology on Mental Health Stigma, Education, and Treatment, 2021, pp. 943-970, Web.

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