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Continuum beliefs and stigmatising beliefs about mental illness: results from an Asian community survey
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  • Published on:
    Continuum beliefs and stigmatising beliefs about mental illness: results from an Asian community survey
    • Monique A. Lynch, Programme Coordinator The University of the West Indies, Mona

    I am commenting on the article “Continuum beliefs and stigmatising beliefs about mental illness: results from an Asian community survey” written by Mythily Subramaniam, Edimansyah Abdin, Louisa Picco, Shazana Shahwan, Anitha Jeyagurunathan, Janhavi Ajit Vaingankar and Siow Ann Chong and published in April 2017. I agree with the authors when they stated that cultural beliefs also determine the meaning people impart to their illness which, in turn, gives meaning to stigma (Angermeyer et. al., 2005).
    WHO (2009) explained that with one resident mental health hospital in Jamaica and in extent the CARICOM region, coupled with an increased burden of mental health issues, there is significant impact on health and major social outcomes, human rights and economic conditions. According to a case study conducted by Hickling et. al. (2010), they found that the most commonly expressed emotional response to the mentally ill and mental illness was fear, often specifically a fear of dangerousness. The authors went on to say that the fact that the initial emotional response was fear gives researchers some insight as to why Jamaicans are often adamant in seeking and utilizing mental health services (Hickling et. al, 2010).
    In a study by Arthur et. al., (2010), a male focus group participant stated that, “here in Jamaica the stigma is that people don’t treat people with a mental illness as though they were a normal human person, they stigmatize them that they are mad man. Whereas...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.