Dr. Simeon Sapundzhiev
Sofia University „St. Kliment Ohridski“
Abstract. The work is dedicated to people with mental disorders, stigmatizing attitudes and social distances, manifested by graduate students. Different aspects of stigmatization and social distance are considered theoretically – fear, refusal to participate in cooperative activities, presence of a negative attitude, adverse treatment, aggression and more. At the end, there are made recommendations to overcome stigma and social distances. Empirical findings show that graduate students exhibit negative attitudes and social distances toward people with mental disorders, but they are well below the average levels for the Bogardus Social Distance Scale. The actual group of respondents definitely maintaining friendly relations with members of the target group and does not mind establishing a specialized center for dealing with people with mental disorders in the city or in their neighborhood.
Keywords: people with mental disorders; graduate students; stigma; social distances; attitudes