SM Journal of Nursing
Background: Mental health disorders are highly prevalent in the U.S. Nursing students’ perceptions regarding the stigma of mental illness will impact the quality of care delivered and the patients’ outcomes.
Method: Data was collected from 64 sophomore students. Five open ended questions were distributed to the students during the first class. All the surveys were collected by a volunteer student and were placed in the instructor’s mailbox in a sealed envelope.
Results: The results revealed three categories: students ‘perceptions of the causes of mental illness stigmatization, their own perception of mental illness, and their perception on how to break the cycle of stigmatization of mental illness.
Conclusion: Nursing students provided insightful perceptions regarding the causes of the stigma and possible interventions. Collaborative efforts to break the stigma of mental illness include: education, acceptance, increasing awareness, and better portrayal in the media.
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