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The Stigma of Mental Health: Barriers To Treatment

It is estimated that of those suffering from depression or addiction, only 44% and 22% of individuals with these respective conditions receive treatment (Luitel, Jordans, Kohrt, Rathod, & Komproe, 2017). Why is this? Multiple factors have been identified which serve as barriers to treatment including a lack of perceived need for treatment, mental health stigma, a lack of awareness of where services are located, financial difficulties, lack of services in area, concerns over treatment effectiveness, and thought patterns that struggles will resolve themselves or wanting to deal with problems on an individual level rather than asking for help (Luitel et al., 2017). These factors have brought a rise in mental health initiatives and agencies to assist those struggling with accessing treatment. Recently, mental health services have become joined with primary care services and online mental health courses and services are being developed (Luitel et al., 2017; Tapp et al., 2018). If you are suffering from a mental health issue and are encountering these barriers, speak with your primary care physician, a counselor in your area, or take an online course! Your health professionals are here to help and may be able to assist you in overcoming these barriers!


Luitel, N. P., Jordans, M. J. D., Kohrt, B. A., Rathod, S. D., & Komproe, I. H. (2017). Treatment gap and barriers for mental health care: A cross-sectional community survey in Nepal. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0183223. pone.0183223

Tapp, B., Gandy, M., Fogliati, V. J., Karin, E., Fogliati, R. J., Newall, C., McLellan, L., Titov, N., & Dear, B. F. (2018). Psychological distress, help-seeking, and perceived barriers to psychological treatment among Australian parents. Australian Journal of Psychology, 70(2), 113–121.