Study on people’s experiences of mental health stigma

Alongside the University of Manchester and the University of Greenwich, we have been involved in some research on mental health stigma.

We’re delighted that this has now been published by The British Psychological Society, in their journal ‘Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice (2018)’.

Because previous research on mental health stigma had not investigated the experiences of those affected who were seeking support and treatment outside of statutory services, participants were recruited for this study through mental health charities throughout the North West of England, to find out their views and experiences.

Approximately nine out of 10 people with mental health problems experience stigma, which is described as being like a ‘second illness’ for some. Our research identified a number of helpful themes, subthemes and conclusions.

The first theme is ‘hierarchy of labels’, which involves expectations from family and friends, stigma from the participants themselves and institutional stigma. The second theme is ‘developing  psychological resilience’, which involves taking back control and peer support. You can read the full findings in the paper here