Reducing Stigmatization Through Anti Stigma Campaigns Social Work Essay
The purpose of this Capstone Project is to address the social issue of the stigma of mental illness and propose an anti-stigma campaign to reduce stigmatization. Despite the increased concerns over stigmatization, only a few of the health care providers have implemented anti-stigma campaigns. This article will identify the causes and effects of various types of stigma and critically analysis prior research and theories that address stigma. Implementing anti-stigma campaigns within a community setting may reduce the possible negative consequences of stereotyping, prejudicial attitudes, and discriminatory actions. The proposed resolution focuses on the negative effects of stigma by interviewing individuals who suffer from mental illness. A proposal for a one-day workshop in a community setting will incorporate the ideas generated from interviews with educational resource material about stigma. The target groups will be those interested in increasing their understanding of stigma and the barriers that stigma creates by implementing anti-stigma campaigns based on their needs. Anti-stigma campaigns that raise awareness about mental health issues may help change the attitudes and behaviors created by stigma. The implications for positive social change include a better understanding of stigma from the perspective of individuals suffering from mental illness and the barriers they face at home, in the workplace, within family settings, and in seeking treatment. The anti-stigma campaign includes proposals to reduce stigmatization and its negative consequences in an effort to assimilate people living with mental illness into society.
The Stigma of Mental Illness: Reducing Stigmatization through Anti-Stigma Campaigns
Throughout history, the stigma of mental illness persisted by manifesting itself as stereotypical labels, prejudicial attitudes, and discriminatory actions that created social barriers to housing, employment, and service providers (Canadian Mental Health Association [CMHA], 2010, Corrigan, 2004a). Stigma refers to the negative attitudes and behaviors toward others based on adverse presumptions and myths about mental illness (Overton & Medina, 2008). Corrigan and O’Shaughnessy (2007) posited that the myths surrounding mental illness generate stigmas that could have harmful consequences. For example, self-stigma internalizes societal misconceptions about mental illness that generate feelings of disgrace and despair, which hinders a person’s motivation to ask for help. Structural stigma refers to the institutional polices that marginalize people with mental illness by restricting opportunities. Public stigma is the public’s reaction to a group based on misconceptions of mental illness (Corrigan & O’Shaughnessy, 2007). The CMHA (2010) advocate for putting an end to stigma and discrimination by developing action plans or strategies that fully integrates people living with mental illness into society.
Because of the potential negative impact of stigmatization, the question of what should be done about the stigma of mental illness become a social issue that needs addressing. Research shows that raising public awareness through anti-stigma campaigns will change attitudes and behaviors about mental illness (Moods Disorders Society of Canada [MDSC], 2006). The purpose of this paper is to examine the research that support stigmatization, theories that explain stigmatization, and to analyze the causes and effects of mental illness stigma to provide a potential solution to diminish the social problem.
In order to implement an anti-stigma solution, society needs to recognize the social determinants of mental illness. From an ethical perspective, stigmatized groups are unjustly treated which prevents them for receiving equitable treatment. The American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Principle D on justice strives to provide all persons unbiased, fair, and equitable access to the benefits of services such as housing, employment, and education (APA, 2002). Discriminatory actions that marginalize people with mental illness violate the APA Ethical Principal E, which protects the rights and welfare of all individuals and groups regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, religion or heterogeneous situation (APA, 2002). Concerns about diversity in the social systems focus on the issue of social injustice and marginalization of minority groups resulting from perceived stigma (Corrigan, 2004a). From a global perspective, mental illness affects everyone in society directly or indirectly through an association with people who suffer from mental illness (Norman, Sorrentino, Windell, & Manchanda, 2008). The fact that approximately 450 million people worldwide experience mental illness that causes social isolation, lesser opportunities in life, and increased rates of mortality is a global concern (World Health Organization [WHO], 2009).
In 2008, the WHO (2009) launched a mental health Gap Action Program to assist mental health providers in; (a) narrowing the gap between current mental health service and needed services to lessen the burden created by mental illness; and (b) promote mental health awareness. The WHO estimates that approximately 877,000 people die yearly from suicides caused by mental illness. If left unaddressed, the stigma of mental illness becomes an invisible killer (MDSC, 2006). The MDSC recommends that future anti-stigma researchers; (a) define the causes of stigma; (b) document the adverse affects of stigma; and (c) implement research techniques that incorporate consumers and their families into their research.
Everett (2009) posited that scientific research driven by traditional investigation ignore the voice of the consumer. Data can misrepresent the complexities of the social forces that create stigmatization and in some cases aggravates stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. Everett suggested qualitative inquires aimed at analyzing real life human experiences with mental illness would increase the validity of anti-stigma research. Based on Everett’s recommendations, the MDSC (2006) implemented qualitative inquires and participatory action research into their anti-stigma research. Anti-stigma campaigns based on consumers’ beliefs will become the focus of resolving the social problem.
Anti-stigma campaigns that raise public awareness create a “we” rather than a “they” society (Everett, 2009). However, Everett contended that national anti-stigma campaigns have not been successful in changing attitudes and behaviors. Local communities need to establish their own anti-stigma campaigns based on the best practice model that commits to involving those who suffer from mental illness as advocators for social change (Everett, 2009). Diminishing the myths of mental illness suggests that attitudes will change. Changing the negative beliefs and attitudes about mental illness modifies behaviors (Norman et al., 2008). It follows that changing attitudes and behaviors creates social change.
Integrated Literature Review
Research shows that a mental illness diagnosis creates stigmas that discriminate, stereotype, and socially marginalize individuals and their families (Norman et al., 2008; Overton & Medini, 2008). Corrigan (2004a) posited that misconceptions and prejudicial attitudes about mental illness cause people to internalize stigmatized beliefs (self-stigma) that society endorses (public stigma). Given the negative consequences of stigma, individuals experience discrimination within the family unit, in the workplace, and society as a whole. In order to reduce stigma, researchers need to raise public awareness and address the challenges that people face.
This literature review will focus on the critical analysis of four contemporary articles on the stigma of mental illness that are relevant to this study. The significance of these studies is to confirm the hypothesis the people with mental illness experience stereotyping, prejudicial attitudes, and discriminatory actions that stigmatize. Stigmatization due to psychological distress and self-stigma prevents individuals from seeking professional help (Quinn & Chaudoir, 2009; Vogel, Wade, & Haake, 2006). Because of the public’s misconceptions of mental illness, prejudicial attitudes socially isolate the family unit (Corrigan, Miller, & Watson, 2006) and prevent people with mental illness from finding employment or maintaining employment (Corrigan, Larson, & Kuwabara, 2007). Thus, the implications in raising public awareness are to change attitudes and perceptions of mental illness to create social change. The remainder of this review will analyze the research methods followed by a discussion on the implications of these studies in raising public awareness to reduce stigmatization.
Quinn and Chaudoir (2009) conducted two surveys using open-ended questionnaires on a seven-point Likert-type scale to examine the direct effects of the independent variable of anticipated stigma, self-stigma, and stereotyping and the indirect effect of cultural stigma on the dependent variable of psychological distress. The participants were students from the University of Connecticut. As predicted, the bivariate correlation between the four variables of the first study (N= 300, M=18.59) related positively to distress (F (4,295) =35.38, p<.001, R²=.32). The second study (N=235, M=18.87) replicated the first study followed by a chi-square analysis (X²(5) =3.07) indicating that concealed stigma (self-stigma) is the strongest predictor of psychological distress. The limitation of this study is that the collection of the data was at a given point in time. The participants’ psychological distress could be due to other causes than self-stigma. Quinn and Chaudoir recommended future researchers conduct a longitudinal study that collects the distress and health data over multiple periods to confirm if the distress is bidirectional.
Vogel et al. (2006) conducted a similar study, but they concentrated on the misconceptions of mental illness that self-stigmatize individuals and avoid seeking professional help. Vogel et al. developed a Self-Stigma of Seeking Help Scale (SSOSH) that directly assesses perceptions of mental illness. The goal of their research was to determine if self-stigma directly threatens self-worth, thus, diminishing the help-seeking process. Vogel et al. conducted five studies to differentiate between those seeking help and those avoiding help. For all five studies, Vogel et al. asked for volunteers from a Midwestern university. The sample sizes ranged from 227 to 665 participants depending on the study. For the first study, Vogel et al. selected 10 items using a five-point Likert-type scale, which measured the dependent variables of self-esteem and self-confidence. The second study replicated the first study that confirmed the internal consistency of the factor analysis (.89, N=470) of the first study (.91, N=583). The third study verified the test-retest reliability of the SSOSH by comparing self-stigma results to social desirability (public stigma). The fourth study examined the predictability of gender differences while the fifth study investigated the differences between seeking help and avoiding help over a two-month period. The results indicated a positive relationship between the SSOSH scale, anticipated risks of self-disclosure, and public stigma. Vogel et al. theorized that measuring self-stigma allows researchers to have a better understanding of why individuals avoid help-seeking treatments.
Despite the results of these two studies, methodological limitations exist. The participants were mostly Caucasian descendants from the same university in the United States. The study by Quinn and Chaudoir (2009) were gender weighted with 63 to 73 percent female. Future studies should include various cultures from diverse areas with different educational, social, and economic backgrounds.
Corrigan et al. (2006) contended that preconceived public stigma creates stereotype labels and prejudicial attitudes about mental illness and drug dependency. As a result, family members feel contaminated and experience discriminatory actions by association. Corrigan et al. conducted a nationwide family stigma survey that randomly digit-dialed individuals within the United States. The authors randomly assigned each participant (N=986, M=47.6) to read a vignette. Fourteen items on a seven-point Likert-type scaled examined how the general populace endorses family stigma (dependent variable) if one member of the family has schizophrenia, a drug problem, or emphysema. The within-group ANOVA of the schizophrenic condition was significant (F(6,1842)=108.19, p<.001), which endorsed the false belief that people with mental illness are dangerous and should be socially avoided (Corrigan et al., 2006; CMHA, 2010). The drug dependent within-groups ANOVA was also significant (F(6, 1950)=52.42, p<.001) and supported Corrigan et al.’s hypothesis that people with drug problems are dangerous, weak, and blame worthy. The emphysema vignette did not have a significant effect on family stigma. Thus, Corrigan et al. concluded that the public’s view on mental illness and drug dependency has a significant effect on the family unit. Despite these findings, Corrigan et al. posited that this study is subject to biases because of the random digit-dialing method use to recruit participants that may or may not answer the questions honestly and without bias.
In a similar study Corrigan et al. (2007) wanted to determine what factors explained stigma vis-à-vis mental illness, drug addiction, and physical disability (in a wheelchair) when seeking employment or maintaining employment. Similar to their previous research Corrigan et al. used a digit-dialing technique to recruit volunteers. However, they stratified and randomly recruited a sample of 1,141 participants of which 71.4% completed the survey (N=815, M=47.7) which compares to their previous study. Each participant was randomly assigned to read a vignette of various health condition; mental illness, drug addiction, or in a wheelchair. Corrigan et al. used the responsibility attribution and perception of danger models in a chi-square goodness of fit analysis. The attribution measurement included the dependent variables of pity and anger in relations to helping a person find employment or maintain employment. The result indicated that the relationship between responsibility and pity was insignificant (R²=.00), but the relationship between responsibility and anger was significant (R²=.36). People with mental illness or drug dependency yielded a higher attribution than those in a wheelchair. The dangerous model measured the dependent variable of fear that resulted in a 50 percent (R²=.50) variance. Thus, confirming the hypothesis that people with mental illness or drug addiction elicit anger and fear, which socially segregates them from the workplace environment (Corrigan et al., 2007).
Quinn and Chaudoir (2009) investigated the direct and indirect negative effects of concealed stigma (self-stigma) on psychological well-being. Similarly, Vogel et al. (2006) conducted a study to determine if self-stigma or other factors interfere with the help-seeking process within the mental health care system. Corrigan et al. (2006) posited that both self-stigma and family stigma diminish self-esteem and self-efficacy. Family stigma impedes mental health care and exacerbates shame, blame, and contamination within the family unit (Corrigan et al., 2006). In a similar study by Corrigan et al. (2007), they maintained that structural stigma and discrimination thwart employment opportunities in finding and keeping a job. The commonality between these studies is the negative consequences of stigma but from different perspectives. Despite the extensive research, the literature provides little guidance on how to reduce stigmatization.
Based on the findings in the research discussed, raising awareness about the potential negative consequences of stigma is an important social issue. However, a critical analysis of the causes and effects of stigma may help reduce the misconceptions and myths surrounding mental illness. In order to reduce stigmatization, society needs to change their attitudes about mental illness. Anti-stigma campaigns based on prior research and theories of what constitutes stigma may be a potential solution.
Causes of Stigma
Research suggests that mental illness is the most stigmatized condition in today’s society (CMHA, 2009; Corrigan & O’Shaughnessy, 2007; Overton & Medina, 2008; Spagnolo, Murphy, & Librera, 2008). First, the CMHA contends that the misconceptions and myths surrounding mental illness cause stigmatization. Second, social identity theory incorporates myths with false beliefs about socially marginalized individuals and groups from society (Baumann, 2007; Corrigan et al., 2007). Third, conflict theory suggests that stigmatization comes from erroneous beliefs that society endorses (MDSC, 2006; Nelson, 2008). Fourth, the frequent inaccurate representation of people with mental illness as portrayed by the media activates stereotypical labels, prejudicial attitudes, and discriminatory actions that create negative images and false societal beliefs (CMHA, 2009; Edney, 2004).
Some of the common myths surrounding mental illness are: (a) mental illness causes violent and unpredictable behavior; (b) intellectually challenged people from poor socioeconomic backgrounds are more prone to experience mental illness; (c) character flaws cause mental illness; and (d) mental illness is an uncommon disorder (CMHA, 2009). These types of societal misconceptions about mental illness diminish self-esteem, self-efficacy, and confidence in achieving future life goals (Corrigan et al., 2006). According to the CMHA, people with mental illness view stigma like discrimination. Discrimination toward people with mental illness results from the social constructs that label them as strange or social outcasts (Baumann, 2007; Overton & Medina, 2008).
Social identity theory infers that people with mental illness can have flawed or dangerous characteristics, given that their behavior is outside the conventional norms of society. Because such behavior does not follow the preconceived notions of an ideal society, stigmatization often ensues (Baumann, 2007). Preconceived opinions (prejudice) can lead to unfavorable conduct that discriminates and socially distance individuals or groups from receiving equitable treatment in the workplace, at home, and within society as a whole (Corrigan et al., 2007). In addition, Corrigan et al., (2006) argued the prejudicial attitudes could elicit emotions of fear and blame that might contaminate other family members and society. The MDSC (2006) refers to stigma as the invisible killer because it socially marginalizes individuals and groups from receiving fair and just treatment.
Living in a society that fosters stigmatized beliefs creates social barriers for people with mental illness. Stigma occurs when discrepancies between the beliefs, values, and norms of society conflict with preconceived ideologies that predispose society (Baumann, 2007). All social systems have normative perspectives and structures of what people expect from them. Society perceives individuals or groups that deter from these constructs as a threat to the social system, which creates stereotypical labels and causes prejudicial attitudes (MDSC, 2006; Nelson, 2008). According to the MDSC, exercising power is fundamental to stigma, which socially distances individuals and groups from society. Distancing permits the power group to exploit the marginalized group in order to maintain an ideal society. Societal cues activate stereotypes that conform to unjustifiable fixed attitudes or impressions that lead to prejudice and discrimination (Everett, 2009; Overton & Medina, 2008).
The media habitually activates cues that categories people with mental illness as “crazy”. The inaccurate and unrealistic portrayal of mental illness in movies, television, and books are likely to stereotypes people into a stigmatized group with similar characteristics (CMHA, 2009; Edney, 2004). According to Edney, negative media depictions hinder recovery, activate discrimination, and create social barriers that obstruct seeking and finding suitable housing and employment. When society endorses these negative stereotypes and prejudicial attitudes, communities tend to view people with mental illness as a violent and dangerous, which increases fear and diminishes support (Edney, 2004). In turn, these discriminatory actions cause individuals to internalize stigmatized beliefs that decrease the help-seeking process and diminish self-worth (Quinn & Chaudoir, 2009; Vogel et al., 2006).
Effects of Stigma
Appendix A shows the relationship between the causes and effects of stigma. Stigma is the harmful social mind-set toward individuals or groups with deficiencies such as mental illness that produces stereotypical labels, prejudicial attitudes, and discrimination that can have direct and indirect effects (Corrigan & O’Shaughnessy, 2007). Direct effects such as self-stigma reduce feelings of worthiness caused by people labeling themselves as socially unacceptable (Vogel et al., 2006). Vogel et al. interpreted their research findings to show that anticipated risks of disclosing mental illness elicits beliefs of character flaws and failure. The fear of discrimination reduces help-seeking behaviors caused by feelings of shame and hopelessness. People with mental illness experience feelings of disempowerment in terms of treatment, which can be an impediment to seeking and sustaining treatment efforts. People may avoid treatment because of the self-stigma effect of incompetence and inferiority while others may avoid treatment to eliminate public stigma (indirect effect) (Vogel et al., 2006).
Stigma and discrimination can reduce a person’s adherence to treatment and increase social impairments (Spagnolo et al., 2008). Indirect effects result from the public’s perception about the myths of mental illness (public stigma) because of societal conflicts. Public stigma evolves from the social attitudes and beliefs sanctioned by society. When society tolerates stigma, discrimination manifest itself as harmful actions against the stigmatized group. Labeling people as mentally ill elicits negative responses that affect fair employment opportunities and affordable housing (structural stigma) (Corrigan et al., 2007; CMHA, 2010). Structural stigma is an indirect effect of the media’s misrepresentation of mental illness (Edney, 2004). Edney argued that the commonly depicted negative stereotypes of mental illness in the media perpetuate the impression that people with mental illness are a burden to society, which defines them as social outcasts and incompetent members of society.
The myths about mental illness create stigmas that can have direct and indirect devastating effects on individuals and groups within society (see Appendix A). Stereotypes, prejudices, and discrimination affect their beliefs about themselves (self-stigma) which directly effects their options in life (CMHA, 2009). Because of the strongly held conventional societal perspectives and thoughts (conflict theory), people have a tendency to distort the meaning of mental illness and socially marginalize individuals and groups from society (public stigma) (MDSC, 2006). The indirect effect of public stigma creates a direct effect by people internalizing stigmatized beliefs. The media’s misrepresentation and use of discriminatory language (i.e. “crazy” or “lunatic”) distort views and reinforce misconceptions which leads to prejudicial attitudes that indirectly stigmatize people with mental illness from receiving just treatment (structural stigma) (Edney, 2004, MDSC, 2006).
Until people learn the truths about mental illness, stigmatization continues. The CMHA (2009) recommends that people educate themselves about mental illness to become more informed and less fearful about mental disorders. For example, individuals need to listen to people suffering mental illness to gain an insight into how personal experiences of stigma encroach on their lives. The CMHA emphasize the fact that words can hurt and suggest people avoid using language that stereotype, demean, or ridicule people with mental illness. Speak up and protest by exposing preconceived myths about mental illness to thwart negative stereotypes (MDSC, 2006). The more people talk about mental illness the more people will recognize and understand the social problem (CMHA, 2009). People can change how the media portrays mental illness by speaking out. The media tend to sensationalize a story by inaccurately describing a mental disorder. The CMHA recommends people call or write those who have misrepresented mental illness to inform them how their stories can exacerbate stigma. If individuals start changing their own attitudes about mental illness, they can influence other people’s attitudes. The CMHA posited that society has already changed attitudes about how people refer to women, people of color, and people with handicaps. It is time to change attitudes about mental illness.
Changing attitudes means counteracting stigma. The implementation of strategies and programs that educate individuals, health care organizations, and communities about mental illness may help to reduce stigmatization. The MDSC (2006) posited that mental health consumers are well aware that stigma socially marginalizes them from society. Personal experiences drive them to create social change. However, shifting prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behaviors from negative to positive social change can be a difficult and gradual process (MDSC, 2006). A proposed resolution is to implement an anti-stigma campaign that will focus on involving those people with mental illness to be the messenger (CMHA, 2010; Everett, 2009; Heeney & Watters, 2008; Kirkwood & Stamm (2006); Spagnolo et al., 2008; Stuart, 2008).
Proposed Resolution to Reduce the Stigma of Mental Illness
A potential solution to reducing stigma would be to implement an anti-stigma campaign that raises awareness of the possible devastating consequences of stigma. Stigma, according to Corrigan (2004b), is a social cognitive and behavioral structure that creates negative stereotypes that often lead to an emotional reaction (prejudice) causing discriminatory behavior. Anti-stigma campaigns that focus on changing attitudes and behaviors of health care providers (structural stigma) may be effective in preventing stigma and help generate social change (Corrigan, 2004b; Kirkwood & Stamm, 2006).
The proposed resolution will incorporate an anti-stigma task force coalition between various organizations and members of the community that deal with mental illness. The coalition will be between the Community Awareness Program (CAP) of CMHA and various organizations that deal directly with mental health issues to propose solutions and implement action plans for social change. The mandate will be to further the understanding of stigma, identify the barriers that stigma creates, and to move toward eliminating these barriers. However, this campaign will differ in that the anti-stigma task force will incorporate the thoughts about stigma and its barriers from the perspective of those people who endure mental illness.
The first task will be to identify potential causes of stigma by interviewing people who suffer from mental illness. Heeney and Watters (2008) posited that contact is the most efficient approach to reduce stigma. In 2002, the province of Ontario implemented a Talking about Mental Illness (TAMI) program that targeted secondary school students. TAMI proved to be effective with a 32% increase in mental health awareness and a 12% decrease in stigma (Heeney & Watters, 2008). Although attitudes changes, Spagnolo et al. (2008) argued that decreased stigmatization may not be sustainable over time. Because of the preconceived negative societal thinking about mental illness, people tend to be afraid to speak out for fear of discrimination (Spagnolo et al., 2008). To eliminate this problem, providing or the making of masks to conceal identity or implementation of a role-playing scenario where more than one person speaks about mental illness may be helpful. With the permission of the participants, the task force will videotape the sessions to use in the second stage of the anti-stigma campaign.
The second stage of the task force will be to incorporate the ideas generated from the people interviewed into a one-day workshop at a given location. The workshop will target groups interested in learning about stigma and suggestions for implementing an anti-stigma program. The goal of the workshop is to; (a) deliver an awareness presentation via the videotaped sessions; and (b) distribute educational resource material to assist organizations in delivering their own awareness program. By implementing programs that address stigma and its barriers, mental health providers offer support and assistance for those suffering from mental illness (Kirkwood & Stamm, 2006). According to Kirkwood and Stamm, a social marketing approach challenges stigma by empowering people with mental illness access to job opportunities, suitable housing, education, and mental health services without feeling socially marginalized. In 1998, the state of Idaho implemented a successful mental health campaign in collaboration with mental health consumers and state organizations to address stigma by changing attitudes and behaviors. This campaign focused on the person with mental illness as the messenger and gatekeeper training programs allowed mental illness consumers to speak openly about stigma. Kirkwood and Stamm posited that face-to-face interactions in combination with educational programs about the myths of mental illness have changed attitudes. The right message will change attitudes if target groups are willing to accept social change. Kirkwood and Stamm contended that anti-stigma campaigns must be an ongoing process maintained over extended periods in order to sustain behavioral changes.
Corrigan (2007) argued that anti-stigma campaigns that incorporate people who speak about mental illness might increase stigma rather than reduce it. For example, labels such as mental illness may intensify stereotypes, prejudices, and discriminatory attitudes. Corrigan argued that diagnostic classifications augment public misconceptions instead of highlighting the facts about support recovery to reduce the stigma.
The advantage of the proposed anti-stigma campaign is the relatively low cost of implementing the program. The cost would be minimal other than videotaping the interview sessions and the renting of a facility to present the workshops. The individuals and groups who experience stigma would benefit from understanding stigma from their point of view. The organizations would gain an insight into identifying the barriers that cause stigma in an effort to reduce stigmatization. Balancing research with stories from individuals who have directly or indirectly experienced mental illness humanizes its reality (Stuart, 2008). For example, if the task force committee could recruit a famous person or sports celebrity to discuss their battle with mental illness, community members may be more willing to accept and understand that mental illness affects people from all lifestyles and not just the disadvantaged groups. Improving the image of the reality of mental illness could create a community that is accepting and willing to participate toward social change (Stuart, 2008).
Gill (2008) argued that the progress toward eliminating stigma has been slow and that people with mental illness are incompetent still exists today. The sharing of ideas and knowledge to create a movement that systematically addresses a community problem is stimulating and motivational. Collaboration and cooperation amongst the members to commit to sustaining an anti-stigma campaign generates momentum. Real change only occurs after people modify behaviors.
This anti-stigma campaign will endeavor to establish a partnership between groups of individuals to discuss the stigma dilemma to pave the way for further dialogue. Because society does not understand mental illness, individuals and groups fail to receive just and equitable treatment. Prejudicial attitudes can cause self-stigma, which leads to a sense of hopelessness. Family, friends, property owners, employers, and coworkers may social isolate people with mental illness when individuals need the support and understanding the most. Social organizations reject, discriminate, and abandon those in need because of the myths about mental illness (MDSC, 2006).
This proposed anti-stigma campaign resolution will focus on reducing the myths of mental illness from the perspective of the mental health consumer. The goal is to educate people on mental health awareness in collaboration with organizations that deal with mental health issues and people that experience mental illness. The vision includes changing attitudes and behaviors of mental health providers based on a person-centered community based approach that recognizes the meaning of mental health. Communities that promote resilience are fundamental in developing mental well-being (CMHA, 2010). The partnership will address the barriers that prevent consumers from attaining the utmost opportunities in life. The knowledge and understanding gained from this anti-stigma collaboration may be effective steps toward promoting and encouraging social change in reducing the stigma of mental illness.
Need an essay? You can buy essay help from us today!