Interventions to Reduce Mental Health Stigma and Discrimination

A Literature Review to Guide Evaluation of California's Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention Initiative

by Rebecca L. Collins, Eunice C. Wong, Jennifer L. Cerully, Dana Schultz, Nicole K. Eberhart

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Abstract

A number of programs aim to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness, and they can include a variety of components such as training, education, media campaigns, and contact with people with mental illness. Stigma and discrimination reduction activities are evaluated in this report, using evidence from an extensive literature review. Specific areas reviewed include relevant theories of stigma and prejudice reduction, what is and is not known about the effectiveness of various approaches to reducing the stigma of mental illness, the kinds of methodologies previously used in evaluating these approaches, and the methodologies that should be employed in the future. The authors also introduce a conceptual model of mental health stigma reduction based on a variety of existing theories and evidence.

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The research described in this report was prepared for the California Mental Health Services Authority and was conducted within RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation.

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