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The Stigma of Mental Illness:

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'The issue of stigma against mental illness sometimes feels like ... Norman Sartorius, Elaine Brohan, Ann Law. and the INDIGO Study Group. The Lancet (in press) ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Stigma of Mental Illness:


1
  • The Stigma of Mental Illness
  • Inevitable or Unjustifiable?
  • Professor Graham Thornicroft
  • g.thornicroft_at_iop.kcl.ac.uk

World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre
2
The issue of stigma against mental
illness sometimes feels like the worst part about
it.Tom
3
Sources
  • Review 1615 international stigma published
    sources
  • Detailed statements / testimonies from people
    with severe mental illness in South London (n40)
  • Statements about discrimination from INDIGO Study
    (729 people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia in
    28 countries)

4
What is Stigma?
  • Problem of knowledge Ignorance
  • Problem of attitudes Prejudice
  • Problem of behaviour Discrimination

5
Words used by 14 year old Students in Kent,
England
Rose D, Thornicroft G, Pinfold V, Kassam A.
250 labels used to stigmatise people with mental
illness. BMC Health Serv Res 2007 797.
6
Key Features of Stigma Research
  • Focus on violence media
  • Mostly only address schizophrenia
  • Little attention to emotions
  • Little information on actual discrimination
  • Few reports from service users
  • Few intervention studies

7
1. Discrimination at Home
  • Adverse reactions by family eg lazy / weak
  • Negative reactions to family members
  • High rates of homelessness
  • Neighbourhood reactions to residential care

8
  • At 16, in 1996, I suffered a bad mental
    breakdown where I was hospitalised for 5 years.
    It was very traumatic. There I was, the eldest
    son, suffering a sudden deep depression, crying
    and unable to work, often threatened by my
    confused Dad as being weak.
  • Robert

9
2. Discrimination in Friendships, Intimate
Relationships and Childcare
  • Loss of husband/wife/partner
  • Disappearance of friends
  • Impaired long-term sexual relationships

10
  • When I got sick for the first time I was
    seventeen and I was at high school. My behavior
    was awkward and my friends and classmates were
    making fun of me. I was feeling really bad about
    this. Then I was hospitalised. When they found
    out about this, they all abandoned me. I lost my
    friends.
  • Paul

11
3. Discrimination at Work
  • Lower rates of short-listing and hiring
  • More often sacked
  • Lower rates of pay
  • Poorer promotion prospects
  • Dilemma conceal or disclose

12
  • Unfortunately I have never suffered from such
    cruelty because, when applying for jobs, I never
    admitted to my own depression.
  • If I had, I would never have stood a chance.
  • People are frightened about anything to do
    with mental illness, they just do not understand
    the malady.
  • Anna

13
4. Discrimination in the Media
  • Newspapers 40-70 of items violence
  • 85 of children's animations show characters with
    mental illness
  • Few direct accounts from consumers
  • Clear negative effects on popular views

14
UK Newspaper content analysis for mental illness
related items in 2005
15
  • indigo study
  • International Study of Stigma and
  • Discrimination Outcomes
  • Graham Thornicroft, Diana Rose,
  • Norman Sartorius, Elaine Brohan, Ann Law
  • and the INDIGO Study Group
  • The Lancet (in press)

16
INDIGO Aims
  • develop and validate a scale to measure service
    users experiences of discrimination (anticipated
    and experienced)
  • called Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC)
  • collect international data on the nature and
    severity of discrimination

17
Discrimination Stigma Scale (DISC) Reported by
service users about experiences of
discrimination
  • financial affairs
  • community life
  • health social services
  • privacy and safety
  • children
  • avoidance
  • 27 countries
  • personal relationships
  • housing
  • education
  • family life
  • work
  • transport and travel
  • 732 people interviewed

18
Anticipated Discrimination
  • Similar ideas self-stigma, self-discrimination
  • Avoidance of important actions eg
  • applying for a job
  • seeking a close relationship
  • because of previous failure or
  • in anticipation of failure

19
Anticipated Experienced Discrimination
Empowerment resilience
Anti-discrimination law
Person with mental illness
Anticipated Discrimination
Experienced Discrimination
20
Evidence of How to Reduce Discrimination
21
Local Level Interventions
22
Social Contact Theory
  • Bogardus 1924
  • Direct, personal contact with individual(s) of
    stigmatised group
  • Equal status (eg co-facilitator)

23
Kent Awareness in Action Aims
To develop
deliver
and evaluate ...
... intervention packages to reduce psychiatric
stigma and discrimination
24
Target Groups
  • Police officers
  • Young people
  • Medical students

25
Feedback from Police
26
National Level Interventions
27
National Campaigns
  • Australia
  • Scotland
  • New Zealand
  • England

28
New Campaign in England against Stigma
Discrimination 2008-2011
29
Thornicroft G 2006 Shunned discrimination
against people with mental illness Oxford
University Press Oxford
30
Major global conference on stigma and
discrimination on January 21-23 2009 in
LondonContactann.law_at_iop.kcl.ac.uk
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