Monday 23 July 2018

Illness 'is still stigmatised in public mind'

Mental illness still continues to have a stigma
Mental illness still continues to have a stigma

Ciara Treacy

Irish people are happy to discuss their emotional problems, but nine out of 10 would still feel uncomfortable saying they have a mental health issue.

A new study has found that 85pc believe it is easier to talk about personal difficulties than it was a decade ago.

However, the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (IACP) reports that a stigma is still attached to having a mental illness.

"We now have an anomaly, because on the one hand the findings that people are talking more about emotional problems are positive and show that we have come a long way in discussing these issues," said the IACP's Shane Kelly.

"The problem is people are terrified to say that they have a mental illness and this really concerns us.

"It shows that mental illness is still, to an overwhelming extent, stigmatised in the public's mind."

The IACP survey revealed that 57pc of people find it much easier to admit having a physical illness.

"We have no problem talking about the gym or keeping fit, but we need to have more discussions about our mental hygiene," Mr Kelly said.

Irish Independent

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