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J Korean Acad Nurs. 1998 Dec;28(4):881-892. Korean. Original Article.
Noh CH .
Department of Nursing Science, Hallym University, Korea.

This study attempts to identify attitudes of community leaders toward mental illness in order to obtain useful information concerning the planning of community mental health services. The community sample consists of 50 community leaders including, civil servants, doctors, herb doctors, school nurses, counselors, village leaders, pharmacists, and pastors. Individuals were asked to give demographic data, their personal attitudes toward mental illness' etymology and prognosis, and toward neighbors who are psychiatric patients. The interview with open questions was used to collect data. According to the study community leaders 82% believed than mental illness could be treated, 66% believed that mental illness was caused by genetic factors and environmental stress, and 76% had negative impressions about mentally ill people such as fear, seclusion, asylum, also crime. Only 28% of mentally ill people were accepted as neighbors in community. 52% of community leaders rejected opening of mental hospital, and thought that the Chunchon community needed facilities such as group homes, or day care centers(30%), however, 34% of the leaders they didn't recognize community mental health. These findings suggest that mental health professionals need to pay special attention to change the attitude of Chunchon community leaders and mental health institutions need to a develop mental health education program for community leaders.

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