Health  Vol.5 No.9 , September 2013
Qualitative study of stigmatization of mental illness in the Japanese workplace: The experience of mentally disabled people

I examine stigmatization of mental illness in the Japanese workplace. The participants were 25 Japanese adults with mental disorders who were interviewed regarding their experience of stigmatization in places they had worked. Narrative data from semi-structured interviews were analyzed qualitatively. Responses were classified as stigma toward treatment, stigmatizing attitudes, and stigmatization due to disclosure of illness, and the characteristics of stigmatization experienced by people with mental disorders were identified. The findings, in conjunction with analysis of anti-stigma programs worldwide, are expected to contribute to the development of effective anti-stigma measures in Japan.

Cite this paper: Yoshii, H. (2013) Qualitative study of stigmatization of mental illness in the Japanese workplace: The experience of mentally disabled people. Health, 5, 1378-1385. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.59188.

[1]   Chou, K.C., Esterberg, M.L., Compton, M.T., McGee, R., Shim, R. and Hochman, K. (2002) Knowledge about schizophrenia and social distance toward individuals with schizophrenia: A survey among predominantly low-income, urban, African American community members. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 14, 86-93.

[2]   Lysaker, P.H., Davis, L.W., Warman, D.M., Strasburger, A. and Beattie, N. (2007) Stigma, social function and symptoms in schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder: Associations across 6 months. Psychiatry Research, 149, 89-95. doi:10.1016/j.psychres.2006.03.007

[3]   Corrigan, P.W., Green, A., Lundin, R., Kubiak, M.A. and Penn, D.L. (2001) Familiarity with and social distance from people who have serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 52, 953-958. doi:10.1176/

[4]   Tanaka, G., Inadomi, H., Kikuchi, Y. and Ohta, Y. (2004) Evaluating stigma against mental disorder and related factors. Psychiatry Clinical Neuroscience, 58, 558-566. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1819.2004.01300.x

[5]   Angermeyer, M.C. and Matschinger, H. (1997) Social distance towards the mentally ill: Results of representative surveys in the federal Republive of Germany. Psychological Medicine, 27, 131-141. doi:10.1017/S0033291796004205

[6]   Yoshii, Y. (2009) Factors Contributing to the stigma of mentally disabled: Reading previous studies. Journal of Japan Academy of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 18, 140-146.

[7]   Stuart, H. (2006) Reaching out to high school youth: The effectiveness of a video-based antistigma program. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51, 647-653.

[8]   Gaebel, W., Zaske, H., Baumann, A.E., Klosterkotter, J., Maier, W., Decker, P. and Moller, H.J. (2008) Evaluation of the German WPA “Program against stigma and discrimination because of schizophrenia-Open the doors”: Results from representative telephone surveys before and after three years of antistigma interventions. Schizophrenia Research, 98, 184-193. doi:10.1016/j.schres.2007.09.013

[9]   Yoshii, H. (2012) The problem of stigma toward people with mental disorder in the workplace. Japan Society for Occupational Mental Health, 20, 135-141.

[10]   Cabinet Office, Government of Japan.

[11]   Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.

[12]   Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

[13]   Brohan, E. and Thornicroft, G. (2010) Stigma and discrimination of mental health problems: Workplace implications. Occupational Medicine (Lond), 60, 414-415. doi:10.1093/occmed/kqq048

[14]   Michalak, E.E., Yatham, L.N., Maxwell, V., et al. (2007) The impact of bipolar disorder upon work functioning: A qualitative analysis. Bipolar Disorder, 9, 126-143. doi:10.1111/j.1399-5618.2007.00436.x

[15]   Bender, A. and Farvolden, P. (2008) Depression and the workplace: A progress report. Current Psychiatry Reports, 10, 73-79.

[16]   Laxman, K.E., Lovibond, K.S. and Hassan, M.K. (2008) Impact of bipolar disorder in employed populations. American Journal of Managed Care, 14, 757-764.

[17]   Agrest, M.V. (2011) Users’ participation in mental health services. 22, 409-418.

[18]   Kermode, M., Bowen, K., Arole, S., Pathare, S. and Jorm, A.F. (2009) Attitudes to people with mental disorders: A mental health literacy survey in a rural area of Maharashtra, India. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 44, 1087-1096. doi:10.1007/s00127-009-0031-7

[19]   Hamilton, L.A., Aliyu, M.H., Lyons, P.D., May, R., Swanson Jr., C.L., Savage, R. and Go, R.C. (2006) African-American community attitudes and perceptions toward schizophrenia and medical research: An ploratory study. Journal of the National Medical Association, 98, 18-27.