Academic department under which the project should be listed

Health Promotion & Physical Education

Faculty Sponsor Name

Mari-Amanda Dyal

The project required a review of the literature, so no human subjects approval was needed.

Project Type

Poster

Abstract (250 words maximum)

BACKGROUND: Any discussion of health should involve a discussion of health literacy, as it is a critical factor in the acquisition and application of health-related information. One specific area is mental health literacy (MHL), which refers to knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders.

MHL has experienced improvement in the areas of recognition, management, and prevention; however, current efforts for MHL development and improvement have a one-sided focus. MHL efforts do not address the issue of stigma in terms of reduction or awareness setting the stage for the current research.

METHODS: A review of the literature explored the intersection of MHL and stigma specific to mental health and mental health disorders. Moreover, MHL efforts for improvement and development were reviewed to better understand the health literacy strategies (plain language, written and verbal communication, and cultural competence) that are employed for mental health.

RESULTS OR ANTICIPATED RESULTS: MHL research is associated with stigma specific to attitude assessment, which was related to mental health and mental health issues (i.e., depression and schizophrenia). MHL efforts for improvement and development involved altering attitudes as a directive with little direction provided in terms of health literacy strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: The MHL struggle is alive and well because efforts for improvement and development are one-sided with no direction for reducing stigma using confirmed health literacy strategies such as cultural competence, which could prove to be a game changer by opening the two way street to improving MHL and reducing stigma when it comes to mental health issues.

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The intersection of mental health literacy and mental health stigma: A literature review

BACKGROUND: Any discussion of health should involve a discussion of health literacy, as it is a critical factor in the acquisition and application of health-related information. One specific area is mental health literacy (MHL), which refers to knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders.

MHL has experienced improvement in the areas of recognition, management, and prevention; however, current efforts for MHL development and improvement have a one-sided focus. MHL efforts do not address the issue of stigma in terms of reduction or awareness setting the stage for the current research.

METHODS: A review of the literature explored the intersection of MHL and stigma specific to mental health and mental health disorders. Moreover, MHL efforts for improvement and development were reviewed to better understand the health literacy strategies (plain language, written and verbal communication, and cultural competence) that are employed for mental health.

RESULTS OR ANTICIPATED RESULTS: MHL research is associated with stigma specific to attitude assessment, which was related to mental health and mental health issues (i.e., depression and schizophrenia). MHL efforts for improvement and development involved altering attitudes as a directive with little direction provided in terms of health literacy strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: The MHL struggle is alive and well because efforts for improvement and development are one-sided with no direction for reducing stigma using confirmed health literacy strategies such as cultural competence, which could prove to be a game changer by opening the two way street to improving MHL and reducing stigma when it comes to mental health issues.