Receptionist 303-986-4197
M – F • 8:30am – 5:00pm

The Stigma of Therapy Prevents Adolescents from Seeking Help

The Stigma of Therapy Prevents Adolescents from Seeking Help

 The Stigma of Mental Illness and Needing Therapy Prevents Adolescents from Seeking Help

A new study published in the Journal of Nursing Measurement found that many teens who need mental health treatment refrain from getting it because of perceived stigma.

Melissa Pinto, Ph.D., RN, KL2 Clinical Research Scholar and instructor of nursing at the university’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, said, “We needed to find a reliable and valid way to measure the presence of stigma associated with mental illness among adolescents.” To accomplish this aim, Dr. Pinto and fellow researchers tested 210 adolescents aged between 13 and 18, using the Revised Attribution Questionnaire (r-AQ) to measure mental illness and perceived stigma.

Dr. Pinto reports,

“The Revised Attribution Questionnaire was found to be a reliable and valid measure among this group of adolescents. Having measures of that reliable and validity give us confidence when we do interventions with teens to decrease stigma that changes we are see are actually changes and not an artifact of the measure. Specifically, this measure holds promise to be used in intervention studies to determine if our interventions work. If untreated, illnesses, like depression and mood disorders, tend to reoccur and become chronic,” said Pinto.

Pinto concluded,

“Mental illness is like other diseases, with treatment, people can recover. Creating a social culture where people feel comfortable getting treatment and talking about the illness with others who can support them is a vital initial step that can help people get better.”

This summary was provided as a public service by Westside Behavioral Care, Inc., a company that provides outpatient counseling, psychotherapy, and mental health services across the greater Denver metropolitan area.