The Self-Stigma of Mental Illness and Active Help-Seeking in College Students
Megan R. Morrison, Genaveve Schoen, Zach T. Lindenburg, and Nereida J. Aranda
Christian Brothers University
College students are most likely to have a mental disorder and least likely to think the mentally ill live normal lives post-treatment (Auerbach et al., 2017). This misconception is due to stigma and leads to foregoing treatment. Specifically, research on self-stigma and active help-seeking is lacking. This study examined the relationship between public stigma, self-stigma, and active help-seeking among college students with anxiety and depression. 100 undergraduates completed measures of their mental health services utilization, public stigma, self-stigma, anxiety, and depression. Results indicate self-stigma is positively influenced by public stigma and negatively influences active help-seeking, and those with mental illness indicate increased perceived public stigma. These findings are discussed in terms of changing the community’s perception of mental illness, hopefully decreasing the negative consequences of perceived public stigma on self-stigma, thus, active help-seeking.