A qualitative study exploring experiences of discrimination associated with mental-health problems in Ireland
Lakeman, R, Mcgowan, P, MacGabhann, L, Parkinson, M, Redmond, M, Sibitz, I, Stevenson, C & Walsh, J 2012, 'A qualitative study exploring experiences of discrimination associated with mental-health problems in Ireland', Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 271-9.
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Aims. Stigma and discrimination related to mental-health problems impacts negatively on people's quality of life, help seeking behaviour and recovery trajectories. To date, the experience of discrimination by people with mental-health problems has not been systematically explored in the Republic of Ireland. This study aimed to explore the experience impact of discrimination as a consequence of being identified with a mental-health problem.
Methods. Transcripts of semi-structured interviews with 30 people about their experience of discrimination were subject to thematic analysis and presented in summary form.
Results. People volunteered accounts of discrimination which clustered around employment, personal relationships, business and finance, and health care. Common experiences included being discounted or discredited, being mocked or shunned and being inhibited or constrained by oneself and others.
Conclusions. Qualitative research of this type may serve to illustrate the complexity of discrimination and the processes whereby stigma is internalised and may shape behaviour. Such an understanding may assist health practitioners reduce stigma, and identify and remediate the impact of discrimination.