National surveys of mental health literacy and stigma
Associate Professor Nicola Reavley
+61 3 9035 7628
This project, which was funded by the Department of Health and Ageing, involved the conduct of two national surveys of mental health literacy and stigma. One survey was of adults aged 15+ years and the other was of youth aged 15-25 years. The surveys covered recognition of mental disorders described in case vignettes and subsequent questions covered beliefs about help seeking; medical, psychological and self-help interventions; causes; first-aid actions; and stigmatising attitudes.
Comparison with previous surveys conducted in 1995 and 2003-2004 showed substantial gains in mental health literacy in Australia and some changes in stigmatising attitudes. Having said this, much remains to be done in addressing the issue of stigma towards people with severe mental disorders, particularly in the area of beliefs about dangerousness and unpredictability.