Department

College of Health Sciences, Division of Social Work

First Advisor

Dr. Kathleen McKinney

Description

Prior and ongoing resear ch in the realm of mental illness and stigma has indicated there is an increase of individuals who are stigmatized. Most research conducted concerning mental illness and public stigma has been focused on urban population samples. The purpose of our resea rch was to focus on the aspect of how public stigma of mental illness in a frontier community (the “cowboy up” mentality for example) affects an individual’s biopsychosocial and spiritual well - being after being diagnosed with a mental illness. Our study a ims to discover and analyze how public stigma might influence an individual’s actual or perceived quality of life after diagnosis. This phenomenological study represents a continual journey of understanding between frontier macro - community philosophy and opinions regarding mental illness and a micro outlook of quality of life concerns. The findings from this study can inform frontier community members of how public stigma affects people who have a mental illness diagnosis, assist professionals in the helpi ng professions to reduce mental illness stigma, and reduce the stigma of mental illness to improve the quality of life of those individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

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Oral P resentation

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Mental Health Illness and Frontier Community Public Stigma: Impacts of D isclosure Regarding Overall Well - being

Prior and ongoing resear ch in the realm of mental illness and stigma has indicated there is an increase of individuals who are stigmatized. Most research conducted concerning mental illness and public stigma has been focused on urban population samples. The purpose of our resea rch was to focus on the aspect of how public stigma of mental illness in a frontier community (the “cowboy up” mentality for example) affects an individual’s biopsychosocial and spiritual well - being after being diagnosed with a mental illness. Our study a ims to discover and analyze how public stigma might influence an individual’s actual or perceived quality of life after diagnosis. This phenomenological study represents a continual journey of understanding between frontier macro - community philosophy and opinions regarding mental illness and a micro outlook of quality of life concerns. The findings from this study can inform frontier community members of how public stigma affects people who have a mental illness diagnosis, assist professionals in the helpi ng professions to reduce mental illness stigma, and reduce the stigma of mental illness to improve the quality of life of those individuals who have been diagnosed with a mental illness.