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Stigma and Mental Health: Issues and Interventions

Summer Inst. term
Mental Health
1 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Instruction Method:
Tue 05/30/2017 - Fri 06/23/2017
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Sarah Murray
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

In 2010, mental health and substance use disorders accounted for more than a fifth of years lived with disability in the US and globally. In many contexts, the social effects of living with a mental or substance use disorder augment this burden. Stigma associated with mental health diagnoses not only has interpersonal effects, but ramifications for care seeking, quality of care received, and overall health. The generation of further evidence for, and scale-up of, promising stigma reduction strategies is a global public health priority.

Provides a broad understanding of the interrelationship between stigma and mental health. Focuses on health consequences of stigma for individuals living with mental health disorders. Introduces students to intervention strategies for reducing mental health-related stigma at different health systems and ecological levels, with a focus on the role of mental health service users in stigma reduction. Prepares students to incorporate anti-stigma approaches into their own work.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify different definitions and theories of stigma from a broad social science perspective and consider how stigma may vary across cultural/economic contexts
  2. Discuss the impact of stigma on the health of individuals and families living with mental health or substance use disorders
  3. Identify the treatment implications of stigma for individuals living with mental health or substance use disorders
  4. Critique current evidence for stigma reduction strategies implemented at the institutional, community, and individual levels, with a focus on primary care and community health systems
Methods of Assessment:

Students will be evaluated based on 1) a critical article review (4-5 double spaced pages in length) (65%); and 2) their participation in the course as evidenced by actively posting comments and questions to the online message board and involvement in course live talk (35%).

Instructor Consent:

No consent required