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Eur Psychiatry. 2005 Dec;20(8):529-39. Epub 2005 Sep 19.

Mental illness stigma: concepts, consequences, and initiatives to reduce stigma.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Freiburg, Hauptstrasse 5, D-79104 Freiburg, Germany. nicolas_ruesch@psyallg.ukl.uni-freiburg.de

Abstract

Persons with mental illness frequently encounter public stigma and may suffer from self-stigma. This review aims to clarify the concept of mental illness stigma and discuss consequences for individuals with mental illness. After a conceptual overview of stigma we discuss two leading concepts of mental illness stigma and consequences of stigma, focussing on self-stigma/empowerment and fear of stigma as a barrier to using health services. Finally, we discuss three main strategies to reduce stigma -- protest, education, and contact -- and give examples of current anti-stigma campaigns. Well-designed anti-stigma initiatives will help to diminish negative consequences of mental illness stigma.

PMID:
16171984
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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