Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion

Summer 2021

Thesis Director

Ronan S. Bernas

Thesis Committee Member

Wesley D. Allan

Thesis Committee Member

Assege HaileMariam


Mindfulness has many psychological benefits, including less stress, improved sleep, increased resiliency, and reduced psychological distress, making it a focus of mental health research (Dvorakova et al., 2017; Mzarek, Franklin, Phillips, Baird, & Schooler, 2013; Vidico & Cherup, 2019). Mindfulness may also limit the formation of self-stigma, which comes from internalized stereotypes about oneself (Barr, Davis, Diguiseppi, Keeling, & Castro, 2019). When people experience self-stigma, they are less likely to seek help when they might need it, exacerbating current problems (Wilson, Bushnell, & Caputi, 2011). The present study explored the relationship between these three constructs of mindfulness, self-stigma, and help-seeking. It investigated if mindfulness could increase the likelihood that an individual would be willing to seek help by decreasing self-stigma. Responses of 189 participants were collected through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Mindfulness as an overall construct and two of its five facets (nonjudging and acting with awareness) had a negative direct effect on intentions to seek help. However, as predicted, it also had a mediated effect that was in the predicted positive direction. As mindfulness increased, self-stigma decreased, which in turn increased the willingness of participants to seek help. This paper ends by discussing how mindfulness can be used to increase engagement and retention in mental health services.