Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 55, Issue 3, pp 527–533 | Cite as

Impact of Conventional Beliefs and Social Stigma on Attitude Towards Access to Mental Health Services in Pakistan

  • Inayat Shah
  • Muhammad Tahir Khalily
  • Irshad AhmadEmail author
  • Brian Hallahan
Original Paper


This study aims to explore the role of conventional beliefs and social stigma on attitude towards access to mental health services. From 50 caregivers data were collected by Perceived Public Stigma Scale and an in-depth semi-structured interview. The majority (86%) of patients having significant symptoms of major mental illness visited traditional healer prior to engagement with the mental health services. However a significant positive finding, related to carers predominantly perceiving that individuals with mental health difficulties were trustworthy, capable of engagement in employment and were comfortable with having them as their friends were identified.


Conventional beliefs Social stigma Mental health services 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors of this study certify that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical Approval

Ethical approval was attained from the ethics committees at the International Islamic University, Islamabad, Institute of Psychiatry, Benazir Bhutto Hospital Rawalpindi and the Psychology Clinic at Integrated Health Services Hospital F-10 Islamabad. Clinical directors of each facility provided approval for the study prior to participant contact.

Informed Consent

Written informed consent was attained from each participant (n = 50) to access their clinical records and to contact their primary care-giver.

Supplementary material

10597_2018_310_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (106 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 106 KB)


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MalakandChakdaraPakistan
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyInternational Islamic UniversityIslamabadPakistan
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryNational University of IrelandGalwayIreland

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