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Attitudes to Mental Health in Scotland

Authors: Susan Reid, Stephen Hinchliffe, Jennifer Waterton

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The report presents findings from the 2013 Scottish Social Attitudes survey (SSA) and provides a detailed picture of public attitudes towards mental health problems in 2013. The report examines the extent to which individuals with mental health problems are able to live free from stigma, discrimination, injustice and inequality, and also explores attitudes to recovery among those who identified themselves as having or having had a mental health problem. Moreover, as this is the fifth time that the questions have been asked during the period 2002-2013 (see Paras 1.21-1.23 below) this report also provides valuable insight into whether - and if so how - public attitudes in this area are changing over time.


This report presents findings for three broad questions relating to public attitudes to mental health:

• How have attitudes to people with mental health problems changed over time?

• What factors are related to people’s attitudes towards people with mental health problems?

• For those with direct experience of mental health problems, what have the social impacts been, what has helped or hindered their recovery, and have they received positive messages about their recovery?

The report uses data collected on the Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey between June and October 2013. To address the question of change over time, the report also draws on data collected on four separate occasions (in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008) as part of the National Scottish Survey of Public Attitudes to Mental Health, Mental Wellbeing and Mental Health Problems. This survey series is referred to in what follows as the Well? survey(s).

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