Ironically, people with mental illness often report feeling stigmatized by mental health providers. Despite this evidence, there are no known resources that teach providers to recognize and combat social exclusion within the mental health system. The Anti-Stigma Steering Committee Toolkit was designed to fill that gap. The toolkit comprises various materials to help providers end discrimination and exclusion.
One of the biggest obstacles that individuals with mental illness face in the workplace is stigma. Stigma results in negative perceptions of an individual based on their illness, and results in many negative assumptions about an individual’s ability to perform their job and succeed on the part of co-workers and supervisors. Sometimes, stigma can be so strong that it leads to discrimination.
Fortunately, there are several federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against those with mental illnesses, both in the workplace and in other public places as well. In the latest issue of the Focus newsletter, we examine the issue of stigma and discrimination, and share information about the legal safeguards that are in place to protect those with mental illness.
Stigma Research and Action, a New Peer-Reviewed Open Access Journal
Stigma Research and Action (SRA) is a new online, open access, not-for-profit peer-reviewed journal that offers international perspectives on stigma attached to illness, disability, and membership in marginalized groups. SRA is a multidisciplinary forum for the dissemination of information advancing both research and practice as applied to any stigmatized condition or group.
SRA (online ISSN 2210–5174), an open-access journal with no article-processing charge, is published by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU University Amsterdam) University Library. SRA provides immediate open access to its papers on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.
The first issue of SRA was published on Tuesday, March 1, 2011, and includes original research papers and brief reports. Topics covered include AIDS/HIV stigma among community health workers, implicit and explicit obesity bias in pre-adolescents, internalized stigma of mental illness, and substance abuse stigma and discrimination among African American males. The issue also features an opinion piece by a well-known psychiatrist concerning mental illness stigma and its negative consequences.
"Stigma has a major impact on the life opportunities of so many people around the world, and thus the creation of the first peer-reviewed journal in this field may increase our ability to better understand and reduce stigma, in many contexts, worldwide," says Professor Heather Stuart, cofounder and editor in-chief of Stigma Research and Action.
Readers are encouraged to register via the Web site to receive publication notifications and calls for papers.