McNair Scholars Research Journal


Mental health is one of the most prevalent issues in our society today, especially amongst adolescents. A 2018 survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that 14.4% of the U.S. teenagers surveyed had experienced a major depressive episode in the past year, an increase of 6.1% from their 2008 survey (SAMHSA, 2019). Given that mental health issues are more widespread than ever, especially during a pandemic, it is imperative to study barriers to mental health treatment, with one of these being stigma. As Nearchou et al. (2018) explained, stigmatization leads to individuals not seeking treatment due to concerns of judgment from others, thus leading to a further decrease in mental health. This paper aims to examine mental health stigma amongst adolescents and how it manifests. To better understand stigma, an analysis of potential causes will follow with a review of potential treatments and solutions.