Vistas Online 2013

VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.


Mental Health Stigma - Impact and Interventions

Kiphany Hof, Michael Bishop, David D. Hof, Julie A. Dinsmore, Christine Chasek, and Douglas R. Tillman


Research shows that negative stereotyping leads to social stigmatization of those with mental illness resulting in self-stigmatization, lower self-esteem, diminished self-efficacy, and limited access to social support and mental health services for those with mental illness. Few studies have been conducted to identify who is most predisposed to be supportive of those with mental illness and who may be willing to advocate for greater access to services. The purpose of this study is to clarify who is most open to support and advocate for those with mental illness. Responses from a sample of 48 volunteer college students to a researcher developed survey of attitudes towards mental illness were analyzed to determine which demographic factors were related to more accepting attitudes of those with mental illness. Results yielded significant main effects for gender F (1, 47) = 5.49, p < .05, and for those who have a relative with a mental illness, F (1, 47) = 17.82, p < .01. Results suggest that females and relatives of those with mental illness are more accepting and could be targeted to help reduce mental health stigma by advocating for, and serving as allies to, those with mental illnesses.

Keywords: mental illness, advocacy, stigmatization

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