Associative stigma among mental health professionals: implications for professional and service user well-being
Authors: Mieke Verhaeghe, Piet Bracke
Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 53 (1), 17-32 (2012).
In contrast with growing attention given to the stigma experiences of mental health service users, the stigma literature has paid almost no attention to mental health professionals. This study focuses on experiences of associative stigma among these professionals. We investigate the link between associative stigma and three dimensions of burnout as well as job satisfaction among mental health professionals, and the link of associative stigma with self-stigma and client satisfaction among service users. Survey data from 543 professionals and 707 service users from diverse mental health services are analyzed using multilevel techniques. The results reveal that among mental health professionals associative stigma is related to more depersonalization, more emotional exhaustion, and less job satisfaction. In addition, in units in which professionals report more associative stigma, service users experience more self-stigma and less client satisfaction. The results reveal that associative stigma is related to more depersonalization, more emotional exhaustion, and less job satisfaction among mental health professionals.