The problem of stigma during end-of-life care at a psychiatric institution

End of life care Palliative care Mental health Australia

The literature on palliative care for individuals with a mental illness is scant and there is a complete absence of work available on the issue of stigma at this interface. The following discussion makes a start to addressing this important topic by presenting findings on the nature and impact of the stigma associated with mental illness from a qualitative research project on end-of-life care for patients in a mental health institution called The Park, Centre for Mental Health, located in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The findings reported in this article affirm the difficulties associated with the stigma of mental illness, and point to the obstacles created for psychiatric staff in accessing the services of mainstream palliative care.

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