Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates

Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates

Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates

Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates

Synopsis

Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness offers practical strategies for addressing the harmful effects of stigma attached to mental illness. It considers both major forms of stigma: public stigma, which is prejudice and discrimination endorsed by the general population; and self-stigma, the loss of self-esteem and efficacy that occurs when an individual internalizes prejudice and discrimination.
  • Invaluable guide for professionals and volunteers working in any capacity to challenge discrimination against mental illness
  • Contains practical worksheets and intervention guidelines to facilitate the implementation of specific anti-stigma approaches
  • Authors are highly experienced and respected experts in the field of mental illness stigma research

Excerpt

It's satisfying that Corrigan, Roe, and Tsang understand that mental illness stigma should be reduced to the personal story. True, stigma cuts a wide swath on certain issues such as insurance parity, the bias of media reporting, and employment and housing discrimination. But Corrigan and colleagues understand that it is in the world of stories, down to the individual person, and to the individual event, that stigma comes into sharp focus.

In my personal experience, as a person with a schizoaffective disorder, broad issues tend to have less immediacy than a specific occurrence that happened to me personally. the conception of employment discrimination as an issue is one thing, but when I was fired from a data processing job because it was determined that, as a mentally ill person, I was untrustworthy and likely to hack the mainframe computer, that stung. These days, when I put a face on employment discrimination, this is the experience I use. in this book, the authors exhaustively chronicle the stories of individuals. the reader should read on for that alone.

That said, while this book is comprehensible by the nonprofessional, Corrigan and colleagues do not overlook the scientific studies that have underpinned the understanding of mental illness stigma. There is a substantial body of scientific literature on stigma, labeling, and discrimination. the authors have contributed much to these studies. I’ve had the opportunity to work with Pat Corrigan on some of his best studies on stigma reduction, that is, ways to ameliorate stigma in the general population. the authors present these in detail in this volume.

Otherwise, to understand Corrigan et al., look at their choice of language. They use powerful adjectives in condemnation of the phenomenon:

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