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Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates

ISBN: 978-0-470-68360-6
254 pages
February 2011, Wiley-Blackwell
Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates  (0470683600) cover image


Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness offers practical strategies for addressing the harmful effects of stigma attached to mental illness. It considers both major forms of stigma: public stigma, which is prejudice and discrimination endorsed by the general population; and self-stigma, the loss of self-esteem and efficacy that occurs when an individual internalizes prejudice and discrimination.  
  • Invaluable guide for professionals and volunteers working in any capacity to challenge discrimination against mental illness
  • Contains practical worksheets and intervention guidelines to facilitate the implementation of specific anti-stigma approaches
  • Authors are highly experienced and respected experts in the field of mental illness stigma research
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Table of Contents

About the Authors.

Foreword: Robert Lundin.



1 Stigma is Personal.

2 Understanding and Measuring Stigma.

3 Challenging the Public Stigma of Mental Illness.

4 Addressing Self-Stigma and Fostering Empowerment.

5 Addressing Structural Stigma.

6 Stigma as Social Injustice.


Learn More About It: Resources and Chapter References (Jennifer D. Rafacz).


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Author Information

Patrick W. Corrigan is Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean for Research in the Institute of Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology. Previously, he was principal investigator of the Chicago Consortium for Stigma Research, the only NIMH-funded research centre examining the stigma of mental illness. He is Editor of the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation.

David Roe is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Community Mental Health, University of Haifa, Israel. He serves on the editorial board of the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences

Hector W. H. Tsang is Associate Professor and Program Director for the BSc in Occupational Therapy at the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He serves on the editorial board of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation and Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling.

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“Overall this is a very inspiring book that demands a response to an important issue which is often overlooked or misunderstood.”  (Journal of Mental Health, 1 May 2013)

“In Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness, Patrick Corrigan and colleagues seek to provide a practically focused text that is grounded in the experience and narratives of those who have struggled with the impact of stigma on their lives.  A particular strength is that it does not shy away from some more difficult areas such as recognising that mental health professionals may be complicit in ‘othering’ people with mental health difficulties to much the same extent as the general population.”  (Oxford Journals Clippings, 4 May 2012)

"Overall, the authors provide thorough coverage of the major aspects of stigma and stigma reduction efforts in an easy-to-use format." (PsycCRITIQUES, 29 February 2012)

"Overall, I think the intentions of the authors are honourable and the books includes good suggestions on how to tackle the widespread problems of stigma. These range from small tasks that people could carry out in daily life to large changes required at government level." (The Psychiatrist, 1 December 2011)

"This is a book that would be ideal for an undergraduate health professional program, and could provide a valuable basis for coursework, such as developing an anti-stigma intervention, or simply a class discussion about the reality of stigma." (Metapsychology Online Reviews, 29 November 2011)

"In this unique text aimed at therapists, those in helping professions, patients, and families in the US and Europe, Corrigan (psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology) et al. outline practical strategies for addressing the major forms of stigma of mental illness: public stigma, prejudice and discrimination endorsed by general society; self-stigma, the loss of self-esteem and efficacy that occurs when a person internalizes prejudice and discrimination; and structural stigmas, the social forces shaped by public stigma . . . some sections of the book were taken from Corrigan and Robert Lundin's Don't Call Me Nuts! Coping with the Stigma of Mental Illness (2001), and this volume updates many of its ideas with recent research." (Booknews, 1 June 2011)



“This is a book for everyone – for our patients, healthcare professionals and the general public. The issues surrounding stigma are raised without underestimating complexity, while still making the concepts understandable. Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness explores the promising pathways, as well as those that will have unintended consequences. It ends, as all books on this subject should, with a rallying call for parity for those with mental illness.
Til Wykes, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation, Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London

“Stigma as social injustice is a powerful message that permeates this book. It reminds us that people with a mental illness are, first and foremost, people with a mental illness. It challenges us to find ways to ensure that they realize the same rights and entitlements that the rest of us take for granted. It compels us to actively seek avenues of redress through multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral activities that combine best practices in research with best practices in social advocacy and social change. This is a must-read for professionals and practitioners alike.
Professor Heather Stuart, Department of Psychiatry, Queen’s University, Canada

“This book starts with a personal approach to stigma – especially its horrendous consequences for individuals and families – and ends with the important pronouncement that stigma is an example of social injustice Along the way, it provides conceptually driven yet highly practical and useable strategies for combating stigma at multiple levels. An invaluable resource for anyone interested in countering the huge issue of mental illness stigma; bravo!”
Stephen Hinshaw, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of California

"Drawing on both the latest research and personal experience, this book is an easy-to-read, practical and, at times, inspiring guide on how to reduce the stigma of mental illness in all its forms."
Professor Anthony Jorm, Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, University of Melbourne.

“In Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness, the authors offer an invaluable resource – based upon the direct experiences of people with mental heath problems – on what practical measures can minimise stigma and which, if pursued with real commitment, may one day see such stigma become an issue of merely historical interest.”
Professor Graham Thornicroft, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

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Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness: Lessons for Therapists and Advocates (US $121.95)

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