This research is a descriptive study which has been done in order to determine the beliefs of teachers’ toward mental illnesses in society.The content of this research covers 1307 teachers who work in the cities of Uşak and Istanbul in the academic year of 2010-2011. According to sampling size calculation formula, the number of individuals to be taken as samples has been determined as 298. However, the research has been completed by the contribution of 260 teachers due to incomplete forms and the teachers refusing to cooperate. As for the tools to collect data; The Interview Form including socio-demographic characteristics and prepared in accordance with the literature by the researchers and Beliefs toward Mental Illness Scale (BMI) have been used. This scale is composed of 3 sub-dimensions; which are dangerousness, incurability / poor social and interpersonal skills and embarrassment. It is a Likert type scale in 6 and it has been evaluated both on sub-scale scores and total scale. High scores received from the scale and sub-scales means a negative belief. Data entry and evaluation processes were carried out by the researchers using SPSS package program. The data have been assessed by using number and percentage test,chi-square, t test, and variance analysis. In the sampling group, while the lowest score is 20 in BMI (n=260), the highest score is 91. The average total score is 50.4±14.1 Dangerousness dimension score average is 23.1 ±6.3, incurability / poor social and interpersonal skills dimension score average is 25.8±9.0 and embarrassment dimension average score is 1.4±1.8. While 60% of the teachers have got higher scores than general score average, 40% of them have got lower scores than general score average. It has been concluded that the teachers, who have been subjects of this research, have displayed a negative attitude toward mental illnesses. It is important to enhance positive attitudes by improving knowledge and understanding toward mental illnesses in order that individuals with mental illnesses could survive in a society where there is no stigma and discrimination. In this sense, it is necessary that teachers reaching out to the majority of their society be informed and their awareness be increased as far as mental health services are concerned.
Keywords: Mental Illness, Stigma, teachers