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EPA guidance on how to improve the image of psychiatry and of the psychiatrist

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 April 2020

D. Bhugra
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK
N. Sartorius
Affiliation:
Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programmes (AMH), Geneva, Switzerland
A. Fiorillo
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Naples, Naples, Italy
S. Evans-Lacko
Affiliation:
Department of Health Service and Population Research, King's College, London, UK
A. Ventriglio
Affiliation:
Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy
M.H.M. Hermans
Affiliation:
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Fortuinstraat, Mechelen, Belgium
P. Vallon
Affiliation:
Swiss Society of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Geneva, Switzerland
J. Dales
Affiliation:
University of Leicester, Leicester, UK
G. Racetovic
Affiliation:
Centar za Mentalino Zdravlje, Prijedor, Bosnia and Herzegovina
J. Samochowiec
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Poland
M. Roca Bennemar
Affiliation:
University of Balearic Islands, Spain
T. Becker
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry II,Ulm University,Bezirkskrankenhaus, Günzburg, Germany
T. Kurimay
Affiliation:
Institute of Behaviour Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
W. Gaebel
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

Stigma against mental illness and the mentally ill is well known. However, stigma against psychiatrists and mental health professionals is known but not discussed widely. Public attitudes and also those of other professionals affect recruitment into psychiatry and mental health services. The reasons for this discriminatory attitude are many and often not dissimilar to those held against mentally ill individuals. In this Guidance paper we present some of the factors affecting the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists which is perceived by the public at large. We look at the portrayal of psychiatry, psychiatrists in the media and literature which may affect attitudes. We also explore potential causes and explanations and propose some strategies in dealing with negative attitudes. Reduction in negative attitudes will improve recruitment and retention in psychiatry. We recommend that national psychiatric societies and other stakeholders, including patients, their families and carers, have a major and significant role to play in dealing with stigma, discrimination and prejudice against psychiatry and psychiatrists.

Type
Original article
Copyright
Copyright © Elsevier Masson SAS 2015

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