Social Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness Is Greatest Hindrance To Care

In a patient advice column in US News & World Report (7/15), psychiatrist and American Psychiatric Association (APA) past president Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, wrote that over the past five decades, “progress in science and technology…has dramatically changed the scientific basis and therapeutic capability of psychiatry.”

These days, “the greatest hindrance to effective care is not a gap in medical knowledge or a shortcoming in effective treatments, but the enduring social stigma of mental illness and the understandable – but no longer warranted – lack of confidence in the competence of psychiatrists.” Patients needing a referral to a psychiatrist should start with their own primary care physician, but district branches of the APA can also help patients “find a well-trained a competent psychiatrist.”

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— “When Should You See a Shrink?,” Jeffrey Lieberman, US News & World Report, July 15, 2016.

Posted in In The News.