The Report goes further to examine the extent of stigma in Asian cultures where "mental illness is thought to reflect poorly on family lineage and thereby diminishes marriage and economic prospects for other family members as well." Here in America, phrase and thoughts such as: "Not in my backyard" syndrome, decreased interest in birthing children because of fear the illness will pass on to them, not employing people with mental illness, etc. these are all forms of stigma at its best.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) states that one out of four adults have mental illness. A 2008 NAMI survey found that only 24 percent of survey participants of the general public are familiar with schizophrenia. This explains why there is such confusion as what schizophrenia is and is not, for instance, schizophrenia is NOT a split personality, however, the term does mean "split mind".
Mental illness is widespread and does NOT discriminate against ethnicity, race, age, gender, economic background, and any other distinguishing factors. It is crucial that we address stigma and try to eliminate it before it perverts all societies to its most inhumane means of associating with and handling consumers and their families, friends, coworkers, and others.
Education and more exposure to mental illness can dramatically reduce stigma. Therefore, learning as much as one can about mental illness limits misconceptions. What are some ways an individual can advocate against stigma?
To learn more about schizophrenia visit the following websites: Embracing My Mind, Inc., the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).