Teachers need to educate their students, families, friends and colleagues about psychiatric illnesses in order to dispel some of the myths, but this is not undertaken by sufficient teachers.
Psychiatrists could also be very effective proponents as far as the education of the general public is concerned. And so can the media, by spreading the word about the advances made in recent years in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses and by not connecting every felony to an individual suffering from a psychiatric disability. It is our inherent duty to remind everyone that psychiatric illnesses like all other medical problems are bio-phsycosocial in nature; the only difference being the organ affected. But the disability experienced by psychiatric patients is often greater than that experienced by patients of more spoken about medical illnesses.
So what is the role of education in stigma prevention?
Educating health-care professionals, the media and the general public is extremely important in reducing the stigma associated with psychiatric illness. I think that psychiatric treatment should be based more on science and less on fear, unfounded opinions and religious beliefs.
We need evidence-based education on-line to optimize patient care around the world; to provide timely, unbiased evidence-based medical education from the world’s leading medical experts to health care professionals, families and patients around the globe. I know that there are many organizations working toward this end so we all simply have to keep at it until the general population learns to accept brain illnesses.