Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Societal stigma surrounding mental health has adversely affected individuals with mental health concerns. Stigma often keeps persons with mental illness from seeking treatment from mental health professionals, bringing such issues to their primary care providers instead. This is problematic, as primary care providers have been shown to endorse mental health stigma toward patients with mental illness. Integrated healthcare, a system in which behavioral health services are integrated into primary care settings, has been hypothesized as a method for reducing mental health stigma among primary care providers and the general public. However, there has been little research examining the impact of integrated healthcare on primary care provider’s endorsement of mental health stigma. The present study was an effort to address this gap in the literature by examining the impact of working in integrated health care settings, personal and professional experience with mental health, and training in mental health and diversity on the endorsement of mental health stigma among primary care providers. The present study contributes to the understanding of the impact of factors in endorsement of mental health stigma among primary care providers in the United States. Contrary to my hypothesis that integrated healthcare reduces mental health stigma, the present study revealed that healthcare integration alone was not a significant predictor of lower endorsement of mental health stigma among primary care providers in the present sample. In contrast, training in mental health and diversity was found to be the most significant predictor of mental health stigma, with participants reporting more in-depth training in these areas endorsing lower levels of mental health stigma. Further research is needed to confirm this association and establish a clearer understanding of the role of integrated healthcare in reduction of mental health stigma. These results can be used to assist in improving training in research regarding mental health stigma and integrated healthcare.
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