PsychTalks: The battle against stigma - Australia, Canada, and the UK

Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences presented the PsychTalks event  'The battle against stigma - Australia, Canada, and the UK' on Thursday 16 September 2021.

Some people who experience mental ill-health face being stigmatised — they may be treated differently, or discriminated against, as if they are somehow less than other people. Stigma about mental ill-health acts as a barrier to seeking either informal or professional help, participating in treatment, and is a risk factor for suicide. When internalised, self-stigma can lead to experiences like decreased self-esteem and self-efficacy, and exacerbation of signs and symptoms of mental ill-health. The effects of stigma also go beyond individuals with lived experience to their partners, family and friends, and further, rippling through communities worldwide. Understanding and responding to stigma about mental ill-health is a critical global challenge.

In our first international PsychTalks event, we heard about current challenges and developments in the battle against stigma in Australia, Canada and Scotland. Moderated by Dr Chris Groot (Lecturer/Director, Mental Illness Stigma Laboratory, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences), panelists include:

  • Dr Michelle Blanchard, Special Advisor, National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy
  • Michael Pietrus, Director, ‘Opening Minds’, Mental Health Commission of Canada
  • Jo Finlay, Senior Research Manager, Mental Health Foundation, Scotland
  • Simon Katterl, Mental health and human rights consultant.