The article in review (Crawford & Brown, 2002) presents an assessment on how stigma is applied to the care of mental health patients residing in rural areas in the UK. The study was conducted to describe how the concept of stigma has evolved from what previous studies have first suggested some 40 years ago, where a bigger part of mental healthcare was done in hospital settings.
Furthermore, current mental health care patients are being given shorter hospitalization periods and are released briefly afterwards (Edwards, 2000; Herman, 1993). The present study (Crawford & Brown, 2002) thus conjectures that, since there has been a change in the nature of mental healthcare, there could likely be a consequential change in the experience of stigma. This article makes an analysis of the traditional approach in explaining the phenomenon of stigma and demonstrates how stigma has experienced significant changes as mental healthcare has been transferred from the hospital to the community.
The classic formulation of stigma-which began in the 1960s-considers this phenomenon as something that is the error of the mental healthcare system (Goffman, 1967). As such, stigma involves a person who undergoes social disapprobation as well as decreased chances in life as a result of being given an identity and diagnostic label as a patient who came from a psychiatric institution.
To address the initial concept of the adverse ramifications of having a 'psychiatric patient' identity (Goffman, 1961, Scheff, 1966), a handful of studies has been conducted to examine how psychiatric service users and survivors regard stigma. ...