see change the national mental health stigma reduction partnership

Kahlil Thompson-Coyle
See Change Workshop
NOSP Forum, 28th April 2010
SEE CHANGE is Ireland’s national programme
working positively to change social attitudes
and behaviour so that there is a reduction of
stigma and discrimination associated with
mental health problems and to ensure that
everyone enjoys the same rights on an equal
• International research identifies stigma as one of the most
persistent barriers to understanding mental health problems
and the importance of mental health.
• Stigma = “A cluster of negative attitudes and beliefs that
motivate the general public to fear, reject, avoid and
discriminate against people with mental ill health. Stigma
leads others to avoid living, socialising, or working with,
renting to, or employing people with mental disorders... It
leads to low self-esteem, isolation, and hopelessness. It
deters the public from seeking and wanting to pay for care.
Responding to stigma, people with mental health
• problems internalise public attitudes and become so
embarrassed or ashamed that they often conceal
• symptoms and fail to seek treatment.” (SAMHSA, 2004)
Four Core Issues
• Lack of knowledge – little understanding of mental
health and mental health problems, misperceptions
of particular mental health problems and unaware of
the concept of recovery.
• Negative attitudes (not always prejudice) – anxiety,
fear of doing or saying ‘the wrong thing’, fear of
embarrassment or harm from individuals with
experience of mental health problems, low
Four Core Issues cont’d
• Self-stigma (internalised discrimination) –
discourages help-seeking, creates expectation of
discrimination leading to avoidance of situations and
fear of the consequences of being open about
mental health problems.
• Negative or hostile behaviour – being isolated,
discriminated against or persecuted in the family, the
community, in the workplace, in the media and/or in
equality of access to goods, services and citizenship.
How can we reduce stigma?
support and
Approaches to influencing
• Social marketing is ... ‘the application of
marketing along with other concepts and
techniques to achieve specific behavioural
goals for a social good.’ (French, Blair Stevens 2006 National Social
Marketing Centre)
• Social contact theory
Social contact theory
• Equal Status, both groups taken into an equal status
• Common Goals, both groups work on a problem/task and
share this as a common goal
• Intergroup Cooperation, the task must be structured so that
individual members of both groups are interdependent on
each other to achieve this common goal
• Support of authorities, law or customs, some authority that
both groups acknowledge and define social norms that
support the contact and interactions between the groups and
Putting social contact theory into
Direct person-to-person contact
Indirect exposure
Personal testimonies
Common cause
Direct personal contact
Indirect personal contact
Works on the principle that talking about mental health is the best way to confront
stereotypes and tackle prejudice.
Personal Testimonies
Common Cause
Common Cause
See Change’s Planned Process
where we are now…
• Scoping to understand the problem and gather
insight into prevailing attitudes and behaviours –
desk research, interviews, surveys, meetings
• w Amnesty’s research
w See Change’s baseline survey
• Development of campaign: key messages, delivery
mechanisms, creative routes, ‘Be the Change’ ideas
• w Initial information session
• w Strategic planning session (vision, mission statement,
aims/objectives – an agreed basis for development)
• w Ideas generation workshop
w ‘Be the Change’ ideas competition
See Change’s Planned Process
what we will be doing…
• Implementation of integrated strategy of
national and local action including marketing,
communications, media work and events
• Evaluation through surveys, focus groups,
monitoring of demand, media monitoring,
web stats, requests for campaign materials
• Follow up informed by evaluation and
feedback on phase one activity, going
beyond just 2 years…looking forward to
phase 2
Key Ingredients for See Change
• See Change partnership to lead the way, and to
support and validate national and local effort
• Evidence-based
• Strong relationships
• Responsive, flexible and opportunistic
• Tailored to different target groups
• High profile and strong first-person voice of people
with experience of mental health problems
• Culture of constant learning
• Being tenacious
See Change Partners so far…
We invite you to become part of
See Change