August 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm #107819
A Special Article; A Review of the Literature and Personal
Howard Sudak, M.D., Karen Maxim, M.S., R.N., Maryellen Carpenter
The authors aim to educate mental health practitioners and trainees
regarding the issues of stigma and suicide and how stigma impacts
this diverse population of suicide attempters, completers, their
families, friends, therapists, and others both personally and
The authors draw upon their own experiences as survivors and review
pertinent literature illustrating the history and general impacts of
this stigmatization. The authors present suggestions to diminish
stigma both for survivors and the general public.
Although there appears to have been some diminution in the
stigmatization of the mentally ill over the past few decades, there
appears to be less diminution in the stigma associated with suicide
Mental illness, in general, has become less stigmatized in recent
years, but suicide remains nearly as stigmatized as ever.
Suicide is often ignored
and stigmatized by the public. Stigma may lead to social marginalization,
isolation, even discrimination and exclusion from normal means toward attaining
personal economic, social and political objectives.
Increase awareness in every
community that suicide is a public health problem. Each suicide produces at
least six, and as many as hundreds of ‘survivors,’ or people left behind to
grieve. Based on the 766,042 suicides from 1982 through 2007, it can be
estimated that the number of survivors in the U.S. is 4.6 million.
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