People with severe mental illness and a history of involuntary hospitalization may experience stigma-related stress and suffer negative consequences as a result. However, the long-term impact of stigma stress on suicidality in this population remains unknown. This longitudinal study therefore examined stigma stress, self-stigma, self-esteem and suicidal ideation among 186 individuals with mental illness and recent involuntary hospitalization. After adjusting for age, gender, diagnoses and symptoms, more stigma stress at baseline predicted suicidal ideation after 2 years, mediated by increased self-stigma and decreased self-esteem after 1 year. Anti-stigma interventions that reduce stigma stress and self-stigma could therefore support suicide prevention.

Ziyan Xu, Mario Müller, Barbara Lay, Nathalie Oexle, Thekla Drack, Marco Bleiker, Silke Lengler, Christina Blank, Stefan Vetter, Wulf Rössler, Nicolas Rüsch
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, March 2018, Volume 53, Issue 3