Three agendas for changing the public stigma of mental illness – 2018

Objective: Antistigma programs may be guided by 3 differing agendas: services (promote treatment engagement), rights (help people achieve rightful goals), and self-worth (facilitate self-worth and efficacy). This study examined the construct validity of this perspective by examining the factor structure of importance ratings of the 3 agendas. The study examined how importance might be viewed differently by the population as a whole versus a subsample of people who reported previous experience with mental health services and hence could be directly harmed by stigma. Methods: 373 individuals recruited using Mechanical Turk completed importance ratings for each of the 3 agendas. Measures of public stigma were completed to examine concurrent validity of importance ratings. Those who reported taking medications for a psychiatric disorder were divided into a separate group and completed a measure of self-stigma. Results: Outcomes seemed to confirm the factor structure of the 3 agendas model thereby offering partial support for the framework. Group analyses showed the services agenda was viewed as more important than rights or self-worth. People with mental health experience viewed the services agenda as more important than the other 2. However, dividing the mental health group into low and high self-stigma revealed that those with low self-stigma rated the rights agenda as more important. Conclusions and Implication for Practice: Participants with lower self-stigma identify the harm brought by stigma and thus endorse rights and self-worth more than those with higher self-stigma. Implications of these findings are discussed to assist to prioritize agendas for public health campaigns.

Corrigan, P. W., & Al-Khouja, M. A.
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 41(1), 2018