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Stigma & Discrimination

Interim Report (2013) by Opening Minds anti-stigma program of Mental Health Commission of Canada
This interim report is the result of a systematic review of anti-stigma programs in Canada. The report outlines current knowledge on programs targeting different groups including youth. It summarizes activities to date, comments on lessons learned, and identifies future work and challenges. The overall goal of the program is to examine best practices and to create resources available on a national and international scale to communities who wish to undertake anti-stigma programs.

Stigma and discrimination – as expressed by Mental Health Professionals
This report was developed by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada (MDSC) in 2007. It addresses the most effective strategies to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and addictions among health and social service providers.

Brochures about stigma in various languages
The Queensland Transcultural Mental Health Centre has produced some brochures about stigma reduction in various languages. From the web site: The Stigma Reduction program for multicultural communities uses cultural values and belief frameworks and empowers communities to address the issues in ways that are most appropriate for them.

Reducing Stigma and Discrimination: What Works?
The material in this report was presented at the Rethink / Institute of Psychiatry conference held in Birmingham, UK in 2003.This report summarizes the main points raised in the conference and describes programmes that are active in the community for addressing discrimination against people with mental health problems.

Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Against Older People with Mental Disorders
This document was produced by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2002. Its aim is to provide a practical tool to assist in the reduction of the stigmatization of older people with mental disorders. It outlines the nature, causes and consequences of stigmatization. It also promotes and suggests policies, programs and actions to combat stigma. Governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), professionals, the media and families can use this document.

Reducing stigma and discrimination- Candidate interventions
From the abstract: this paper proposes that stigma in relation to people with mental illness can be understood as a combination of problems of knowledge (ignorance), attitudes (prejudice) and behaviour (discrimination). It identifies some programs which may be effective in reducing stigmatization and discrimination at the following levels: individuals with mental illness and their family members; the workplace; and local, national and international. The strongest evidence for effective interventions at present is for (i) direct social contact with people with mental illness at the individual level, and (ii) social marketing at the population level.  [Thornicroft G , Brohan E, Kassam A  and Lewis-Holmes E (2008) Reducing stigma and discrimination: Candidate interventions. International Journal of Mental Health Systems, 2:3]

Fighting Stigma and Discrimination Is Fighting for Mental Health
This paper, published in Canadian Public Policy (2005) reviews the origins of stigma and discrimination and the consequences for people with mental illness, as well as for those around them. Stigma reduction efforts in Canada are reviewed and the paper closes with ten lessons to provide guidance for further policy development. Reflecting on international and Canadian experiences, the evidence is that generic campaigns are largely ineffective, and that programs must be carefully focused on specific groups.

Like Minds, Like Mine
Like Minds, Like Mine is a public educational programme aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. It is led by the Ministry of Health of New Zealand and delivered by national and regional organisations. The Like Minds programme is continually adding a variety of online resources to their website  including pamphlets and reports, video and audio, newsletters and information for journalists. The Like Minds, Like Mine National Plan 2007-2013 outlines the direction of Like Minds until 2013. It includes societal, organisational and individual level outcomes, along with a number of actions and approaches to reduce stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness.

A Time for Action: Tackling Stigma and Discrimination
This report was prepared in 2007 by a group of consultants for the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC). It contains recommendations for addressing stigma and discrimination in the Canadian context. It also reviews literature and international anti-stigma programs, identifies evidence-based research and promising stigma practices, assesses Canadian anti-stigma initiatives and provides recommendations for future approaches.

WPA guidance on how to combat stigmatization of psychiatry and psychiatrists
One of the goals included in the WPA Action Plan 2008-2011, adopted by the WPA General Assembly, is an improvement of the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists in the eyes of health professionals, the general public, health decision makers and students of health professions (1,2). In the pursuance of this goal, the President of the WPA established a Task Force and entrusted it with the development of a guidance on how to combat stigmatization of psychiatry and psychiatrists. This paper provides a review of the current knowledge in the area and lists a series of recommendations about what can be done to address the problem.