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Reducing the stigma of mental illness

  • H. Stuart (a1)


This paper presents a narrative review of anti-stigma programming using examples from different countries to understand and describe current best practices in the field. Results highlight the importance of targeting the behavioural outcomes of the stigmatization process (discrimination and social inequity), which is consistent with rights-based or social justice models that emphasize social and economic equity for people with disabilities (such as equitable access to services, education, work, etc.). They also call into question large public education approaches in favour of more targeted contact-based interventions. Finally, to add to the research base on best practices, anti-stigma programs are encouraged to create alliances with university researchers in order to critically evaluate their activities and build better, evidence informed practices.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Professor H. Stuart, Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Queen's University, Room 324 Abramsky Hall, Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6, Canada. (Email:


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