Evaluation 2020

Illuminating stigma: A qualitative analysis to understand the dimensions of mental illness stigma in Midwestern communities 

10-23-2020 07:16

Stigma around mental illness exists, but its dimensions are often poorly defined or shadowed in nuance, which makes defining effective intervention strategies difficult. This qualitative analysis seeks to shine a light onto the historically-taboo topic of mental illness stigma by understanding how patients and members in a large healthcare organization describe stigma in their communities, and what perceived facilitators and barriers of addressing stigma exist. We thematically coded open-ended responses from a patient/member survey about experience with mental illness and stigmatizing beliefs. Responses fell into three major themes: actions toward people with mental illness, negative beliefs about mental illness, and negative beliefs about people with mental illness. A lack of understanding on how to approach and talk about mental illness and lack of access to care presented as the most prominent barriers. Identified themes illuminate the nuance of stigma and how its presence impacts anti-stigma efforts.

TIG: Behavioral health

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Illuminating stigma two-page handout   546 KB   1 version
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Illuminating stigma poster   626 KB   1 version
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