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Stigma as a barrier to engaging in mental health services among adolescents who survive natural disasters

Kranke D, Schmitz S, Der-Martirosian C, Dobalian A. Stigma as a barrier to engaging in mental health services among adolescents who survive natural disasters. Social work in mental health. 2017 Feb 1; 15(2):171-183.

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Abstract:

Many barriers impact the utilization of mental health services among adolescents who survive natural disasters. Although stigma has been identified as one of these barriers, minimal work examines the etiological factors that impact stigma and how these factors operate in perpetuating stigma among adolescents after a disaster. Understanding the role that stigma plays is a critical step to raising awareness of the cognitive and behavioral processes that preserve adolescents' well-being, timely attainment of developmental milestones, and the potential for engagement in meaningful opportunities. We modify an existing adolescent self-stigma model to better understand how youth might respond psychologically to natural disasters both immediately after the event as well as during the long-term recovery phase. Future empirical research should assess the validity of these barriers within the suggested temporal framework. If this proposed conceptual piece is validated, interventions could be designed that directly address the role of stigma.





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