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Promoting recovery and addressing stigma: mental health awareness through community development in a low-income area

Quinn, Neil and Knifton, Lee (2005) Promoting recovery and addressing stigma: mental health awareness through community development in a low-income area. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 7 (4). pp. 37-44. ISSN 1462-3730

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Abstract

One in four Scots will experience mental ill-health at some point in their lives, with increased prevalence in low-income communities. The associated stigma increases the negative impact on an individual's life. This paper outlines the development of a local anti-stigma programme that can be replicated in other areas, and presents key findings from the evaluation. This innovative model, which promotes recovery and addresses stigma, draws on a broad coalition of community support, and enables service users to lead its design and delivery. The paper argues that local initiatives, when complemented by a national programme, can achieve a positive additional impact on attitudes and behaviours; that multiple and flexible approaches are needed for different target groups; that the personal narrative about recovery has a particularly strong impact on participants; and that it may be desirable to tackle stigma in the context of addressing positive mental health. Refinements to the model are discussed.