Public awareness and campaigns on public attitudes towards the severely mentally ill


What are the impacts of public awareness and campaigns on public attitudes towards the severely mentally ill?

In recent years, there is an increasing awareness among health professionals that mental illness is being surrounded by stigma. The people’s negative attitudes towards the mentally ill are one of the major obstacles to providing mental health care for those with mental disorders. In most societies, mentally ill people are perceived as different from others, and they are perceived negatively (Dumesnil & Verger, 2009). Consequently, this makes them develop low self-esteem, and this can leads to broken family relationships. Notably, they deal with their mental condition. These diseases’ symptoms can impact their ability to work, live independently, or achieve a good quality of life and stigma from society. Significantly, some programs and campaigns in 1990 aimed to increase the public’s knowledge of mental disorders and reduce stigmatization and discrimination for those who have mental conditions. The research that will be carried out in this study will be aiming at finding out the impacts of public awareness and campaigns in public attitudes towards the severely mentally ill (Dumesnil & Verger, 2009).

Mental illness impacts over 121 million globally, and most mental illnesses are associated with a high risk of relapse and an increased mortality rate due to suicides. Arguably, at least 60% of the mentally ill do not seek treatment and the major reason that keeps people from seeking treatment is stigma. As a result, there should be initiatives to raise awareness and enhance public knowledge and change people’s behavior and attitudes and behavior towards seeking treatment. Significantly will the campaigns cause more harm by increasing stigma? What influences the perceptions of people about mental illness? How can the public stigma surrounding the mentally ill be reduced?


Hypothesis 1: the impacts of the campaigns on public behavior are not certain.

Hypotheses 2: the most effective initiatives for campaigns for reducing stigma.

During this study, there will be an important observation made. First, there will be a variation between mental illnesses and the positive impacts of creating awareness and campaigns. This will result from the various programs that will be carried out, increasing awareness and reducing stigma on mental illness. In other words, if public awareness will be created, there will be reduced stigma on the mental illness,


The participants will be from Northern America which has been recording high percentages of the stigmatized mentally ill people. There will be no particular demographics selected since this study impacts all different types of people. The study will be carried out by utilizing an electronic database, and this included peer-reviewed articles and manual searches to identify relevant publications. Consequently, a combination of keywords will be used to guide the search. The keywords are mental health, mental illness attitudes, public awareness, stigma, and public opinion (Kohls, Coppens,& Hug, 2017). From these keywords there at least 3000 articles will be identified. The abstracts of these articles will then be reviewed for relevance. Afterwards, the published peer-reviewed articles will be chosen to meet particular criteria. Out of the around 3000 articles that have been identified initially, most of them may not meet the required criteria, and only a few articles will focus on the review.  The study samples will include articles published in the past 20 years, but at least 90% of the article published in 2010. The articles included will discuss the racial and ethnic comparisons and the stigmatizing beliefs of the public regarding people’s attitudes towards mental health treatments. This review will examine the public stigma towards the description of people who had various forms of mental illnesses. The publication articles that might be used may have programs addressing the public (Corrigan &  Watson, 2002). These programs found in the articles will help in analyzing the mental illnesses and reduction of stigma.

Sampling Method

The programs will be classified into three sections: short media campaigns, gatekeeper training programs, and local media and websites. The main objectives of the programs are to reduce discrimination and enhance self-seeking. Notably, the short media campaigns will include programs that sensitize the public about mental illnesses. For instance, this can include overcoming their depression, overcoming their fear, and expressing their feelings. After the programs are clear, more people recommend the mentally sick to seek health care. The gate training program will entail training the members to identify the people with mental illness and direct them to health service to get assistance. Most people do not know how to behave around a person who is mentally ill (Kohls,Coppens,& Hug, 2017). This program entails the procedures of listening, reassuring, and encouraging the mentally ill to seek treatment. Importantly, this can increase the participant’s capacity to recognize mental illness and reduce the stigmatizing attitude towards the mentally ill people. The key message that needs to be delivered in these programs is that mental illness is a serious but treatable disease. Identically, for the local community programs, they can be established to discuss mental illness prevention and treatment. The local media and websites can carry put campaigns and organize different events, including roadshows on the metal illness topic. Significantly, this can improve public knowledge the mental illness. Arguably, through these results that will be obtained from the program articles, it will also provide the readers with a clear understanding of the impacts of public awareness and campaigns on public attitudes towards the mentally ill.


















Elisabeth Kohls, Evelien Coppens,& Juliane Hug. (, 2017). Public attitudes toward depression and help-seeking: Impact of the OSPI-Europe depression awareness campaign in four European regions. research gate, 10.1016/j.jad.2017.04.006.

Helene Dumesnil & Pierre Verger. (, 2009). Public Awareness Campaigns About Depression and Suicide: A Review. Psychiatric services, 10.1176/

Patrick W Corrigan1 And Amy C Watson. (2002). Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness. World Psychiatry, 16-20.














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