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Salud mental

Print version ISSN 0185-3325


MORA-RIOS, Jazmín  and  BAUTISTA, Natalia. Structural stigma, mental illness, gender and interseccionality: Implications for mental health care. Salud Ment [online]. 2014, vol.37, n.4, pp.303-312. ISSN 0185-3325.

The purpose of this paper is to describe the most common forms and expressions of structural stigma from the perspective of a group of people who attended four treatment centers as a result of having received a psychiatric or neuropsychiatry diagnosis (n=68) and a group of health service providers engaged in these services in Mexico City (n=95). We adopted an approach, based on the intersectionality approach, which involves the interplay between social determinants, including gender, in the processes of social exclusion in mental health. In this qualitative study, the in-depth interview technique was used, for which specific guidelines were designed for providers and users of psychiatric services. The interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and subsequently encoded through a specialized program (Atlas ti, version 7.0). This paper examines the perceptions and experiences of stigma and discrimination related to psychiatric disorders, and other specific aspects related to the care process. Among the findings are the structural nature of discrimination not only directed at people affected by severe mental illness, but also at health personnel. Moreover, the respondents' accounts reveal certain structural barriers that impact the quality of care, particularly for users who have multiple conditions of social vulnerability that go beyond the scope of these service providers, constituting dilemmas for the provider. Lastly, on the basis of the analysis of the various difficulties expressed by the study population in relation to the care services, the main challenges to improving the quality of services in the field of mental health are described.

Keywords : Stigma and discrimination; gender and intersectionality; interaction between health care workers and users; health care services; mental health.

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