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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 88-99

Tranquilizing Stigma: Identifying Advocacy Interventions Based on Subjective Experiences of Stigma among People with Schizophrenia

1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Association for the Mentally Challenged, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Santosh Loganathan
Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9962.173285

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Background/Objectives: Research on stigma interventions focuses on general public attitudes and overlooks patients' subjective experiences of everyday stigma arising from significant others. Mental health advocacy has rapidly progressed in western countries, but still continues to be in its early stages in low- and middle-income countries. With this background we looked for possible sources/areas to formulate anti-stigma interventions based on the individual subjective experiences of stigma. Methods: Stigma experiences were assessed by conducting interviews with 200 patients suffering from schizophrenia attending psychiatric services in urban and rural settings. Using ATLAS.ti the narratives were analyzed qualitatively and a final analytical web was created to make associations. Using thematic content analysis we identified themes that could possibly have implications for anti-stigma interventions. Results: Five different areas were identified based on the objectives: Interventions to target key stakeholders such as family members, service providers, nongovernmental organizations/voluntary organizations and people with schizophrenia itself are identified. Interventions could target media personnel, administrators and planners and mental health professionals too. Conclusions: As observed from the results, stigma has multifaceted origins and consequences; and hence interventions too need to occur at these multiple levels with concerted co-ordination.

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