Mental health-related stigma is a major public health issue, and is an obstacle to the possibility for successful treatment, recovery, and reintegration.
To examine attitudes towards mental illness among employees in the social services.
The study design was part of a large randomized trial, and data presented in this study are baseline data from this trial. Respondents completed a baseline questionnaire to assess the respondents' attitudes.
A significant difference was found between employees' personal attitudes towards depression and schizophrenia. The same significant difference was found in the employees' perceived attitudes. Furthermore, a significant difference was found between the employees' personal and perceived attitudes. A significant difference was found between the respondents wish for social distance towards depression and schizophrenia in all cases, except regarding the willingness to provide a job at one's own workplace.
Employees in the social services are comparable to the general public concerning attitudes towards mental illness.
The results indicate that the employees in social services could have great use of gaining more knowledge about mental illness and ways in which to recognize a mental illness, in order to be able to offer the right kind of help and reduce the treatment gap concerning people suffering from mental illness.