Stigma experienced by people with mental illness in South America: an integrative review



Palabras clave:

Mental Illness, South America, Stigma


  • This integrative review brings studies that demonstrate the impact of stigma on the lives of people with mental ilness.
  • This integrative review makes it possible to reflect on the impacts of stigma on people with mental illness.
  • This integrative review can serve as a tool to envision future workshops and interventions aimed at reducing stigma in relation to people with mental ilness.
  • This integrative review is a way of exposing how people with mental illness feel about the stigma experienced in South American cultures.

Introduction: People with mental illness are highly stigmatized by populations around the world and are perceived to be a burden on society. As a result of stigma, many people with mental illness are discriminated against, which leads to limited life opportunities. Given that beliefs about mental illness can vary based on culture, religion, nationality and ethnicity, it is important to understand the different types of mental illness-related stigma experienced around the world. Materials and Methods: Whittemore and Knafl’s (2005) methodology for integrative reviews was used to analyze 18 studies about lived experiences of mental illness-related stigma in South America. Results: Findings suggest that certain types of stigma in South America are based on gender and social norms, such as the social position of men and women in society. This leads to discrimination, isolation and violence from family, intimate partners, friends, society and health professionals. Employment is also limited for South Americans with mental illness. Other consequences, such a self-stigma, also impact the lives of people with mental illness in many South American contexts. Discussion: Family, friendship and social relationships, including health professionals, can involve processes that lead to the stigma experienced by people with mental illness. Conclusion: This integrative review highlights how mental illness related-stigma impacts individuals in South America.

How to cite this article: Raquel Helena Hernandez Fernandes, Bruna Sordi Carrara, Brenda Alice Andrade Vidigal, Arthur Luís Barbosa Martins, Sireesha Jennifer Bobbili, Carla Aparecida Arena Ventura. Stigma experienced by people with mental illness in South America: an integrative review. Revista Cuidarte. 2022; 13(2): e2014 

Biografía del autor/a

Raquel Helena Hernandez Fernandes, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing

University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, São Paulo, Brasil.

Bruna Carrara, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, São Paulo

University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, São Paulo, Brasil.

Brenda Alice Andrade Vidigal, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing

University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, São Paulo, Brasil.

Arthur Luís Barbosa Martins, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing

University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, São Paulo, Brasil.

Sireesha Jennifer Bobbili, University of Toronto

University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.

Carla Aparecida Arena Ventura, University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing

University of São Paulo at Ribeirão Preto College of Nursing, São Paulo, Brasil


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Cómo citar

Hernandez Fernandes RH, Carrara B, Andrade Vidigal BA, Barbosa Martins AL, Bobbili SJ, Arena Ventura CA. Stigma experienced by people with mental illness in South America: an integrative review. Revista Cuidarte [Internet]. 6 de mayo de 2022 [citado 19 de junio de 2024];13(2). Disponible en:



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