Survey: People Turning to Online Mental Health Resources as Stigma Runs Rampant Among Workplaces, Schools, Communities

Intrusive Thoughts’ 2018 survey reveals how stigma, inaccurate diagnoses and overall fear of judgement are keeping the mental health revolution in its infancy

New York, New York, UNITED STATES


NEW YORK , March 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- IntrusiveThoughts.org, a non-profit organization and website that humanizes the experience of living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and other mental illnesses, today announces the results of its 2018 Mental Health Stigmatization Survey. Results show that major barriers to treatment and acceptance are driving people to online tools. As an example, more than 87 percent of people have hidden concerns about their mental health from friends and family for fear of judgement. Stigma levels are particularly elevated in the workplace, at school and within personal communities.

“Stigma is progress’ worst enemy. People with a range of mental health concerns are afraid to make their voices heard, and around half of survey respondents waited more than four years from their first symptom to seek treatment,” said Aaron Harvey, founder of Intrusive Thoughts, Inc. “These findings serve as a harsh reminder that mental health education must be modernized for youth, parents, schools, employers and community leaders, and that technology must play an integral role in democratizing and commoditizing access to care, especially for persons of low socioeconomic circumstance."

Problems within the workplace are particularly noticeable, with 94.2 percent of respondents recognizing stigma around mental illness in their work environment. There is a lack of openness, with 58.2 percent of respondents stating they have taken a mental health day and lied about it.

Public schools are also ill-equipped to drive the mental health revolution forward. Only 11.6 percent of respondents believe public schools provide adequate resources for students in need of mental health support, and just 6.6 percent believe teachers are well-educated in spotting signs of mental health conditions and knowing how to act on them.

In addition, most people do not feel at ease when it comes to their mental health and the people they trust most within their communities. Apart from the almost 90 percent who have hidden concerns from friends and family, 78 percent reported being anxious sharing their mental health issues with loved ones. Specific communities are no exception, with around one-third of people belonging to a religious group believing their community judges those with mental health issues.  

Equally as troubling as perception is inaccuracy, with 33.72 percent of respondents reporting being misdiagnosed with a mental health condition. As a result of these barriers, people are turning to a modern form of support: 93.4 percent of respondents reported they have searched online for mental health resources. People are wanting a better understanding of what they’re experiencing without facing the fear of judgement and rejection.

Intrusive Thoughts, Inc. serves as a digital destination for tools to help restore mental health. For more information, visit http://www.intrusivethoughts.org/

Methodology
Intrusive Thoughts, Inc. launched the 29-question study via SurveyMonkey and surveyed 519 adults worldwide about the state of mental health stigmatization, polling participants via various social media groups. Respondents answered questions exploring mental health topics grouped into seven pillars: work, school, religion, community, family, gender and socioeconomics.

About Intrusive Thoughts Inc. 
Intrusive Thoughts, Inc. is a Non-Profit corporation dedicated to humanizing the experience of living with a mental health disorder. In March 2016, the organization launched IntrusiveThoughts.org, an educational hub for the OCD community that uses modern design, relatable tone, and editorial and video content to help sufferers of OCD get on the proper path to treatment. Since launching, the site has garnered international support from sufferers and professionals alike, and been covered by major news outlets including Vice, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, The Guardian, Fox News Health and Refinery29, amongst notable others. The organization was founded by members of the NYC integrated agency, Ready Set Rocket. For more information on them and Intrusive Thoughts Inc., visit www.readysetrocket.com or www.intrusivethoughts.org.

Contact:
Daniel Tummeley
321-236-0102
dtummeley@uproarpr.com