Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours


School of Psychology and Social Sciences


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Supervisor

Lynne Cohen

Second Supervisor

Dr Julie Ann Pooley


The overall aim of the present paper is to review the literature surrounding attitudes towards mental health, with a specific focus on attitudes towards depression and anxiety. This paper discusses the concept of attitudes, their nature and measurement. This is followed by a review of attitudes towards mental health, with a number of studies being examined and their results discussed. Research has found that the general public has negative attitudes towards people with mental illness; however research has also found that these negative attitudes are improving due to an increase in education and awareness surrounding mental health. The two attitude objects of the current paper, depression and anxiety are explored in terms of diagnostic criteria, nature of the disorder, prevalence within society, as well as any attitude literature that focused specifically on these disorders. From a review of the literature it was found that there are limited studies that examine attitudes towards these specific mental health disorders, in particular anxiety. Future research which examines the relationship between attitudes, depression and anxiety is discussed.