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Journal Article

Citation

Keller S, McNeill V, Honea J, Paulson Miller L. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(3): e16030352.

Affiliation

Walden University, Minneapolis, MN 55401, USA. lpaulsonmiller@gmail.com.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)

DOI

10.3390/ijerph16030352

PMID

30691183

Abstract

Stigma against suicidal ideation and help-seeking is a significant barrier to prevention. Little detail is provided on what types of stigma interfere with help-seeking, how stigma is expressed, and how to reduce it. Five groups of two ethnically diverse community theatre programs were formed to analyze differences in Eastern Montana Caucasian and Native American adolescents and young adults' experiences with stigma about mental illness and mental health treatment that affect help-seeking for suicidal thoughts and experiences. Over a ten-week period, a grassroots theatre project was used to recruit members from the same population as the audience to write and perform a play on suicide and depression (n = 33; 10 males, 23 females; 12 Native American, 21 Caucasian, ages 14⁻24). Using textual analysis, the community- and campus-based performance scripts were coded for themes related to stigma. Both ethnic groups reported that stigma is a barrier to expressing emotional vulnerability, seeking help, and acknowledging mental illness. We found that Caucasians' experiences were more individually oriented and Native Americans' experiences were more collectively oriented. Understanding the cultural bases of experiences with stigma related to mental health treatment for suicide is necessary to create educational programs to reduce stigma for diverse groups of adolescents and young adults.


Language: en

Keywords

cultural competency; depression; health communication; mental illness; stigma; suicidal ideation; suicide

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