Responding to stigma: First-time caregivers of young people with first-episode psychosis

Terence V McCann, Dan Lubman, Eileen Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


This study explored how caregivers of young adults who had experienced a first episode of psychosis coped with stigma while maintaining their caregiving role.

Qualitative interviews were undertaken with 20 caregivers in Melbourne, Australia.

Some caregivers adopted an open approach about disclosing their young person's illness. Alternatively, some were secretive about the illness, because of fears of and experiences with stigmatization if others found out. Caregivers also suggested ways to minimize the stigma that intensified their burden of care.

The findings showed the kinds of roles that family members and others have in supporting caregivers. Caregivers who were secretive about their situation were particularly vulnerable to feeling burdened and needed additional support from clinicians. Caregivers need increased support to enable them to better cope with and respond to stigma.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548 - 550
Number of pages3
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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