The term stigma refers to problems of knowledge (ignorance), attitudes (prejudice) and behaviour (discrimination). Most research in this area has been based on attitude surveys, media representations of mental illness and violence, has only focused upon schizophrenia, has excluded direct participation by service users, and has included few intervention studies. However, there is evidence that interventions to improve public knowledge about mental illness can be effective. The main challenge in future is to identify which interventions will produce behaviour change to reduce discrimination against people with mental illness.
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