People with mental illness are often members of multiple stigmatized social groups. Therefore, experienced disadvantage might not be determined solely by mental illness stigma. Nevertheless, most available research does not consider the effects and implications of membership in multiple stigmatized social groups among people with mental illness. Reflecting on intersectionality theory, the authors discuss two intersectional effects determining disadvantage among people with mental illness who are members of multiple stigmatized social groups, namely double disadvantage and prominence. To be effective, interventions to reduce disadvantage experienced by people with mental illness need to be flexible and targeted rather than universal in order to address the implications of intersectionality. Whereas education-based approaches usually assume homogeneity and use universal strategies, contact-based interventions consider diversity among people with mental illness.

Nathalie Oexle, Dr.Biol.Hum., and Patrick W. Corrigan, Psy.D.
Psychiatric Services, February 01, 2018