What is stigma?
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, stigma is “a mark of shame or discredit … most often refer[ing] to a set of negative and often unfair beliefs that a society or group of people have about something.” With regards to mental illness, there are three different types of stigma that are particularly relevant:
Why is it important to talk about stigma?
- Education to improve mental health literacy.
- Protesting against stigmatizing attitudes, beliefs, images and actions.
- Having contact with someone who has personally experienced mental illness.
Where can I learn more?
What will students learn?
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to…
- Explain mental health stigma and provide examples of stigmatizing attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours
- Recognize their own mental health stigma
- Begin reconstructing a new story of mental health and illness that is more accepting, inclusive, open-minded, and respectful
Corrigan, P. (2004). How stigma interferes with mental health care. American Psychologist, 59(7), 614–
Corrigan, P. W., & Watson, A. C. (2002). Understanding the impact of stigma on people with mental illness. World psychiatry: Official Journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 1(1), 16–20.
Davidson, S., & Manion, I. G. (1996). Facing the challenge: Mental health and illness in Canadian youth. Psychology, Health & Medicine, 1(1), 41-56.
Martin, N. & Johnston, V. (2007). A Time for Action: Tackling Stigma and Discrimination. Report to the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (2012). Evidence In-Sight: Effective stigma reduction strategies in child and youth mental health.
Rüsch, N., Angermeyer, M. C., & Corrigan, P. W. (2005). Mental illness stigma: Concepts, consequences, and initiatives to reduce stigma. European psychiatry, 20(8), 529-539.
World Health Organizartion. (2001). Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope. WHO.