Gülfem BABÜR, Ecem DEMİRTÜRK, Yasemin MERAL, İrem ÖZGÜNER, İbrahim YAKIN
In many cultures, stigmatization towards people with mental illness is challenging. In the literature, so far, most of the studies investigated the only stigma towards mental health of university students in health-related departments (such as nursing). However, they did not focus on the differences between health and non-health related department university students. In this regard, the aim of the current study is to investigate the knowledge and attitudes of health and non-health department university students towards two different mental illnesses, namely, schizophrenia and depression. Attitudes Towards Depression and Schizophrenia Scales and The Community Attitudes Towards the Mentally Ill Scale were used to determine the knowledge and attitudes of 165 health and 158 non-health department university students. Labeling the disorders as “insanity” was higher towards schizophrenia than towards depression in all participants. In general, stigmatization towards schizophrenia was higher than stigmatization towards depression among all students but particularly higher in non-health related departments. Finally, compared to non-heath related department students, health-related department students showed more positive attitude toward mentally ill people. Our results underline that knowledge about mental disorders plays a role in stigma. The more people have information about the disorder, the more positive attitudes they have about the disorders. Still, the awareness and knowledge are limited also in university students. To prevent stigmatization against mentally ill people increasing awareness about different mental disorders is necessary.

Anahtar Kelimeler: stigma, attitude, mental illness, schizophrenia, depression