Study: Californians With Mental Health Issues Face Discrimination
Californians with mental health issues often face prejudice and discrimination, according to a new RAND study, Medical Daily's "The Grapevine" reports (Castillo, "The Grapevine," Medical Daily, 4/23).
For the study, researchers polled 1,066 California residents who reported mild to serious psychological distress when they responded to the California Health Interview Survey (RAND release, 4/23).
The RAND study was conducted as part of an effort to help the California Mental Health Services Administration develop programs for improving residents' mental health ("The Grapevine," Medical Daily, 4/23).
According to the study, about 90% of respondents said they experienced mental health-related discrimination from:
- Health care providers; and
- Law enforcement.
Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of respondents said that because of the stigma associated with mental health issues they would hide problems from co-workers and classmates, while more than one-third said they would not disclose mental health issues to their family members.
Further, about one in five respondents said they might delay care for fear of exposing their mental health issues (O'Neill, "KPCC News," KPCC, 4/23).
In a release, RAND behavioral scientist and lead researcher Eunice Wong said, "These high levels of perceived stigma may discourage individuals facing a mental health challenge from getting needed support" ("The Grapevine," Medical Daily, 4/23).
However, 70% of respondents said they were satisfied with their lives despite dealing with mental health issues. In addition, respondents said they believed it was possible to overcome their conditions, and nearly all said they would seek treatment if they needed it ("KPCC News," KPCC, 4/23).
Still, Wong said, "Our overall findings show a clear need for stigma and discrimination reduction efforts in California" ("The Grapevine," Medical Daily, 4/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.