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Confronting the stigmatisation surrounding mental illness. A qualitative insight into the attitudes of student mental health nurses

Hampson, Lauren (2010) Confronting the stigmatisation surrounding mental illness. A qualitative insight into the attitudes of student mental health nurses. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Previous research has approached mental health stigmatisation variably, often demonstrating the exclusion of positive attitudes despite inclusive intentions to re-integrate those with mental illness (Gureje et al, 2005). This qualitative piece examines nine mental health and one general student nurses’ attitudes towards mental health issues. Investigation derived from semi-structured interviews of student mental health nurses working daily in this realm. Snowball sampling was used to recruit participants. The interview schedule consisted of twelve key topics inspired by previous literature. The research question asks, precisely what are student nurses’ attitudes towards those with mental health issues? Do they stigmatise those with mental health issues? If so how do they do so and why? For those positive attitudes, how could they be applied to a framework striving for a more inclusive future? Using thematic and discourse analysis, five themes were discovered concerning student nurses’ views towards mental illness; Putting the Spotlight on Media Stigmatisation; Frontline Contributions to Stigmatisation; Striving for a Holistic Fix; Implications for Government Policy; and De-stigmatisation Processes. I propose the following model of change; ‘Making tracks towards mental health de-stigmatisation - A change-based strategy to bridge the gap of knowledge in nurse training’. Future aspirations are for a positive change to mental health stigmatisation, and nurses’ appear to be in the ideal position (Pinto-Foltz & Logsdon, 2009).

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