Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 369–374 | Cite as

Stigma in Mental Health at the Macro and Micro Levels: Implications for Mental Health Consumers and Professionals

  • Sharon M. HolderEmail author
  • Eunice R. Peterson
  • Rebecca Stephens
  • Lee A. Crandall
Original Paper


Despite increasing mental health promotion and advocacy, stigma persists and poses a significant threat to the healthy functioning at the macro and micro-sociological levels. Stigma is gradually evolving with the incorporation of broader social contexts at the micro and macro levels in which individuals, institutions and larger cultural constructs shape and influence the perception of what is different and therefore stigmatized. This theoretical paper based on literature underscores how mental health stigma discourages individuals from getting proper mental health treatment. The interface of mental illness, stigma, and mental health treatment has ethical and potentially moral implications.


Stigma Mental health Mental disorder Mental illness Mental health consumer 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

We have no conflict of interest to disclose and or acknowledge.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sharon M. Holder
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eunice R. Peterson
    • 2
  • Rebecca Stephens
    • 3
  • Lee A. Crandall
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Public Health Sciences and the Institute of Family and Neighborhood LifeClemson UniversityClemsonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral MedicineGreenville Health SystemGreenvilleUSA
  3. 3.South Carolina Department of Mental HealthGreenville Mental Health CenterGreenvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Public Health SciencesClemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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