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Dyad conversations about self-stigma in two Scottish communities

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

  • Rob Mackay
  • Simon Bradstreet
  • Andy Mcarthur
  • Linda Dunion
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Issue number2
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)194-200
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Objective: This study explored self-stigma in 2 Scottish communities and strategies for challenging stigma and discrimination. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was used encompassing a survey including the Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Inventory (ISMI) and facilitated dyad conversations with people with lived experience of mental illness. Results: Self-reported experience of self-stigma across 2 communities was most closely associated with the ISMI Alienation cluster, accompanied by a high level of agreement with the Stigma Resistance cluster. Some 44% agreed that stereotypes about people with mental health problems applied to them, and almost 2/3 felt that having a mental health problem had spoiled their lives. Many participants reported reduced confidence, loss of hope, a sense of failure, and protecting oneself through social withdrawal. The findings also offer hope through narratives from people who have “pushed back” and are striving to reduce their own self-stigma by engaging with others and managing their own recovery journey. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: The journey through self-stigma and beyond has to be informed by what we know works with recovery from a mental health problem. At a policy and practice level, we recommend emphasis on 4 priorities: (a) refocusing antistigma and discrimination efforts more on the experiences of people who report stigma, (b) rights-based approaches, (c) identity-based work, and (d) information sharing and educational strategies