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Challenging mental health-related stigma through social contact

London, Jillian and Evans-Lacko, Sara ORCID: 0000-0003-4691-2630 (2010) Challenging mental health-related stigma through social contact. European Journal of Public Health, 20 (2). ISSN 1101-1262

Full text not available from this repository.
Identification Number: 10.1093/eurpub/ckq014


Stigma is one of the greatest challenges facing people with mental illness today. In addition to the distress and feelings of rejection it causes, stigma can lead to housing and employment discrimination and can cause people to avoid seeking help for their illness due to shame and fear. Social contact—direct, personal contact between members of the general public and members of a stigmatized group—is one of the most promising strategies for reducing stigma and discrimination.1 Since the 1960s, research has investigated the use of social contact between members of the general public and people with mental illness to reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Recent research has incorporated more sophisticated randomized trials2 and meta-analysis methods1 to investigate specific components and mechanisms of social contact. The current literature, however, lacks naturalistic studies which apply the social contact theory at the population level. In this viewpoint, we discuss Time to Change3 as an example of a way to facilitate research and application of the social contact theory in naturalistic settings at the population level and the necessary features which should be incorporated in order to optimize results. We argue that the development of novel and innovative ways of incorporating social contact in the field of public mental health will make a significant impact towards decreasing stigma and discrimination against those with mental illness.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 The Authors
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2015 09:33
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2024 08:15

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