Stigma toward mental illness in Latin America and the caribbean: A systematic review

Franco Mascayano, Thamara Tapia, Sara Schilling, Rubén Alvarado, Eric Tapia, Walter Lips, Lawrence H. Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: Stigma toward individuals with mental disorders has been studied extensively. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, the past decade has been marked by a significant increase in information on stigma toward mental illness, but these findings have yet to be applied to mental health services in Latin America. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review of studies relating to stigma toward mental illness in Latin America and the Caribbean. The authors specifically considered differences in this region as compared with manifestations reported in Western European countries. Methods: A systematic search of scientific papers was conducted in the PubMed, MEDLINE, EBSCO, SciELO, LILACS, Imbiomed, and Bireme databases. The search included articles published from 2002 to 2014. Results: Twenty-six studies from seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean were evaluated and arranged into the following categories: public stigma, consumer stigma, family stigma, and multiple stigmas. Conclusion: We identified some results similar to those reported in high-income settings. However, some noteworthy findings concerning public and family stigma differed from those reported in Western European countries. Interventions designed to reduce mental illness-related stigma in this region may benefit from considering cultural dynamics exhibited by the Latino population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-85
Number of pages13
JournalRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Community mental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social anthropology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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