Authors: Malcolm Hugo, SA
Event: 2000 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings, TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT, STIGMA, DISCRIMINATION, WORKPLACE
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The paper is in response to the National Mental Health Strategy's objective of reducing stigma and discrimination for those experiencing mental health problems amongst mental health professionals, and consists of two parts. The first part presents the results of a questionnaire survey currently being undertaken by the North Western Adelaide Mental Health Service to explore clinical staff (medical, nursing, allied health ) attitudes towards people with mental health problems. This survey represents the first phase of a strategy to address staff attitudes towards consumers. The questionnaire was derived from a study undertaken by Jorm et.al (1) who surveyed the attitudes of the Australian public towards people with a mental health disorder. As with their study, the survey used vignettes to describe a person with a mental health problem so that responses would be based on behaviours rather than on a diagnostic label. Staff attitudes were assessed as their beliefs about a number of long term outcomes the person may experience if they received treatment. The paper compares staff attitudes with various other factors such as professional training, work setting, work experience, work satisfaction, and personal experience with mental illness. The second part of the paper presents an analysis of the issues requiring consideration for preventing stigmatising practices and a proposed strategy to minimise stigma and discrimination in the workplace.