The label of mental illness has long been recognized as one of the most powerful of all stigmas. Public stigma, the common societal reactions to people who seek help for psychological distress, can be distinguished from self-stigma, the internalized impact of public stigma. This study examined how awareness and endorsement of public stigma may influence self-stigma. It also examined how both types of stigma are connected to attitudes and intentions to seeking counseling. Awareness and endorsement of public stigma were found to predict self-stigma. Endorsement of sympathy for a person with mental illness was especially predictive of self-stigma, while endorsement of public stigma and self-stigma were independently related to attitudes to seeking counseling. Finally, attitudes were most proximally related to intentions to seek counseling. These results suggest that different aspects of stigma play different roles in influencing attitudes to seeking mental health counseling.

This content is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.