The term stigma refers to
- Problems of knowledge (ignorance)
- Problems of attitudes (prejudice)
- Problems of behavior (discrimination)
Stigma is a label or sign of disgrace usually bringing negative attitudes. Stigma robs people with mental illness of particularly important life opportunities essential to achieving life goals, obtaining competitive employment, and living independently.
Four underlying assumptions dictate workplace stigma for people with mental health problems.
- They lack the competence
- They are dangerous or unpredictable
- Working is not healthy
- Providing employment is an act of charity
Our goal is to address problems of behavior in the workplace.
People with mental disorders point to employment discrimination as one of their most frequent stigma experiences. Research shows that people with psychiatric diagnoses are likely to be underemployed. Moreover, people with a mental health problem report being turned down for a job or stopping themselves from looking for work in anticipation of discrimination. Coworkers may also perpetrate stigma and discrimination, which includes social marginalization and mean-spirited or negative comments.