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American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2020, 8(3), 109-119
DOI: 10.12691/ajmsm-8-3-3
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Stigma among Saudi Youth: Across-sectional Study on Secondary and Intermediate School Adolescent Attitudes towards Serious Mental Illness in Taif City 2019

Alaa M Alwagdani1, , Naif A Alzahrani1, Bassam A Alzaidi1, Fahad Ghazi Almatrafi1, Wejdan M Safar2 and Abdulelah Abdulrahman A2

1R4 Family Medicine Resident, Prince Mansour Military Hospital, Department of Family Medicine, Taif, KSA

2General Practitioner, ALHADA MILITARY HOSPITAL, Taif, KSA

Pub. Date: July 08, 2020

Cite this paper:
Alaa M Alwagdani, Naif A Alzahrani, Bassam A Alzaidi, Fahad Ghazi Almatrafi, Wejdan M Safar and Abdulelah Abdulrahman A. Stigma among Saudi Youth: Across-sectional Study on Secondary and Intermediate School Adolescent Attitudes towards Serious Mental Illness in Taif City 2019. American Journal of Medical Sciences and Medicine. 2020; 8(3):109-119. doi: 10.12691/ajmsm-8-3-3


Background: Stigma is a fundamental barrier to individuals seeking out mental health treatment in the Middle East. The impact of stigma may be amplified if the engagement in and utilization of mental health services for psychosis further stigmatizes individuals and their families Stigma toward mentally ill individuals acts as a barrier to accessing care and receiving treatment. Stigma experienced from family members is pervasive. Moreover, social disapproval and devaluation of families with mentally ill individuals are an important concern. This holds true particularly with regards to marriage, marital separation and divorce. Psychic symptoms, unlike somatic symptoms, are construed as socially disadvantageous. Thus, somatization of psychiatric disorders is widespread. Negative attitudes towards mental illness are influenced by culture and affect people’s behavior differently depending on their cultural background. This is not to say that younger people have no stigma towards the mentally ill. Attitudes towards various aspects of mental illness, including its conceptualization and stigma towards the mentally ill are thought to form at an early age. The most urgent problem of mental health care in is the lack of personal and financial resources. Thus, mental health professionals are mostly located in urban areas. This increases the barriers to seek help and contributes to the stigmatization of the mentally ill. Aim of the study: This study aims to explore the dimensions of stigma and social tolerance and examine its correlates in the younger, population of Taif city. Method: cross sectional study conducted at secondary and intermediate schools at Taif city in 2019. Sample population consists the participants were youths aged 14-18 years old residing and studying in Taif at the time of data collection. Our total participants were (400) .Results: The Mean+ SD age of the sample was (16.923±1.582). Regarding of age was (13-32) and regarding the gender were 225 (57.7%) participants were male while females was (42.3%). most of the sample is shown secondary education was (89.2%) while preparatory was (10.8%) most of participant were Saudi nationality was(95.6%) a significant relation between age and Physical danger, Class thinking, Personal space where respectively (P-value=0.032, 0.000, 0.029) and r Respectively (0.108, 0.183.), Non-Saudi students had higher for contact with mentally ill individuals compared with Saudi students. Conclusion: We propose the following initiatives to reduce stigma toward mental illness in the KSA: (a) Health education to families to enable them to support their affected relatives, (b) Increase cooperation between psychiatrists and faith healers and (c) Health education programs to the young people in schools to increase their awareness and understanding of mental illnesses and to combat negative stereotypes.

Stigma Saudi youth secondary intermediate school adolescent attitudes mental illness Taif

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