Stigma towards people with mental illness and community mental health ideology among university students: A comparative study
Institute of Professional Psychology Bahria University, Karachi Campus, Krachi, Pakistan.
Independent Scholar (Graduated from Institute of Professional Psychology Bahria University, Karachi Campus). Karachi, Pakistan.
Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
University of Karachi, Pakistan.
Independent Scholar (Graduated from Institute of Professional Psychology Bahria University, Karachi Campus), Karachi, Pakistan.
Keywords: Attitude, Mental health ideology, Mental illness, Stigma, Social restrictiveness.
The study examines the difference between the stigma among psychology and non-psychology students towards people with mental illness and to find out their ideology towards community mental health services. A cross-sectional study was conducted among university students. All together (N= 300) participants were recruited through the quota convenient sampling. CAMI (Community Attitude towards the Mentally Ill) scale was used in this research, assess four types of attitudes towards mental illness (i.e., Authoritarianism, Benevolence, Social restrictiveness, and Community mental health ideology). The findings of this study show a significant difference between the attitudes of psychology and non-psychology students. Both the subscales, authoritarianism and social restrictiveness conclude that non-psychology students showed more authoritative and restrictive behavior towards mentally ill people and are less oriented towards community mental health ideology as compared to psychology students. However, psychology students showed less benevolence as compared to non-psychology students towards mentally ill people. Additional findings indicated that the level of authoritarianism, social restrictiveness, and benevolence is high among males as compared to females. The study highlights the need for society to develop a plan and action to change stigma attached to mental illness at both institutional and community levels.