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This chapter focuses on the relationship to stigma from a cultural perspective across the globe. Stigma is also seen to affect the families of persons with mental illness. For persons with mental illnesses, social contexts such as marriage, divorce, or relationships are perhaps the most affected by stigma. The social, psychological, and cultural concomitance of being mentally ill and divorced/separated is particularly severe in the Indian culture. In addition to the stress of mental illness, hostility from family members, and rejection from society in general, women in particular are ridiculed and ostracized for their divorced/separated status. Work is a major determinant of mental health and a socially integrating force. To be excluded from the workforce creates material deprivation, erodes self-confidence, creates a sense of isolation and marginalization, and is a key risk factor for mental disability.
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