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Article

Overview of Stigma against Psychiatric Illnesses and Advancements of Anti-Stigma Activities in Six Asian Societies

1
Faculty of Education, Huaibei Normal University, Huaibei 235000, China
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Institute for Health Innovation and Technology (iHealthtech), National University of Singapore, Singapore 119077, Singapore
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Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
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Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla 90110, Thailand
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Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
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Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119077, Singapore
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The China-Singapore (Chongqing) Demonstration Initiative on Strategic Connectivity Think Tank, Chongqing 400043, China
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School of Mathematics, Jilin University, Changchun 2699, China
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Institute for Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam
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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA
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Centre of Excellence in Behavioural Medicine, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 280; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010280
Received: 9 December 2019 / Revised: 27 December 2019 / Accepted: 28 December 2019 / Published: 31 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Adult Psychiatry)
Background: In psychiatry, stigma is an attitude of disapproval towards people with mental illnesses. Psychiatric disorders are common in Asia but some Asians receive inadequate treatment. Previous review found that Asians with mental illness were perceived to be dangerous and aggressive. There is a need for renewed efforts to understand stigma and strategies which can effectively reduce stigma in specific Asian societies. The objective of this systematic review was to provide an up-to-date overview of existing research and status on stigma experienced by psychiatric patients and anti-stigma campaigns in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Korea, and Thailand. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted in the following databases, including PubMed, PsycINFO, Embase, Web of Science, and local databases. Studies published in English and the official language of included countries/territories were considered for inclusion in the systematic review. Any article on stigma related to any form of psychiatric illness in the six Asian societies was included. Results: One hundred and twenty-three articles were included for this systematic review. This review has six major findings. Firstly, Asians with mental illnesses were considered as dangerous and aggressive, especially patients suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; second, psychiatric illnesses in Asian societies were less socially-acceptable and were viewed as being personal weaknesses; third, stigma experienced by family members was pervasive and this is known as family stigma; fourth, this systemic review reported more initiatives to handle stigma in Asian societies than a decade ago; fifth, there have been initiatives to treat psychiatric patients in the community; and sixth, the role of supernatural and religious approaches to psychiatric illness was not prevailing. Conclusion: This systematic review provides an overview of the available scientific evidence that points to areas of needed intervention to reduce and ultimately eliminate inequities in mental health in Asia. View Full-Text
Keywords: Asia; depression; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; stigma Asia; depression; bipolar disorder; schizophrenia; stigma
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Z.; Sun, K.; Jatchavala, C.; Koh, J.; Chia, Y.; Bose, J.; Li, Z.; Tan, W.; Wang, S.; Chu, W.; Wang, J.; Tran, B.; Ho, R. Overview of Stigma against Psychiatric Illnesses and Advancements of Anti-Stigma Activities in Six Asian Societies. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 280. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010280

AMA Style

Zhang Z, Sun K, Jatchavala C, Koh J, Chia Y, Bose J, Li Z, Tan W, Wang S, Chu W, Wang J, Tran B, Ho R. Overview of Stigma against Psychiatric Illnesses and Advancements of Anti-Stigma Activities in Six Asian Societies. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(1):280. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010280

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Zhisong, Kaising Sun, Chonnakarn Jatchavala, John Koh, Yimian Chia, Jessica Bose, Zhimeng Li, Wanqiu Tan, Sizhe Wang, Wenjing Chu, Jiayun Wang, Bach Tran, and Roger Ho. 2020. "Overview of Stigma against Psychiatric Illnesses and Advancements of Anti-Stigma Activities in Six Asian Societies" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 1: 280. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17010280

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