Few studies have compared persons in treatment to those not in treatment with regard to perceived stigma. We surveyed soldiers to examine differences in stigma perceptions among those in treatment for substance abuse and/or mental health problems (n = 470) and those not in treatment (n = 966). Analyses revealed that soldiers in treatment perceived greater stigma regarding mental health treatment compared with soldiers not in treatment. These findings support the notion that personnel most in need of treatment perceive greater stigma associated with these services and as a result may be less likely to pursue them. We discuss the implications of our findings for theory, research, and practice.
Mental health and substance abuse treatment stigma among soldiers