This first Guide, What are health-related stigma and mental wellbeing?, provides basic information about stigma, its causes and manifestations and mental wellbeing.
After working through this Guide, participants should be able to explain:
- How stigma exists in different forms, with some examples of felt stigma, feared (anticipated) stigma, internalised stigma and discrimination.
- How stigma can be caused by societal judgements on and attitudes towards gender, religion, caste and health.
- Some causes of health-related stigma, such as fear and lack of understanding of the disease, unease, (medical) language and labelling.
- How a more complex cause to stigma is ‘us and them thinking’ (and how it is safe to be part of ‘us’).
- The effects of stigma, including internalised stigma (accepting the stigma), withdrawing from social contacts, not accessing health and other services etc.
- The reciprocal relationship between mental wellbeing and stigma.
- How participants might be able to reduce stigma in their own day-to-day (working) life.
For most exercises you will need a couple of felt pens and some Post-it notes (or small papers and tape to stick them together).
The following people have been the main contributors to Guide 1 on Stigma and Mental Wellbeing: Bassey E. Ebenso, Wim H. van Brakel, Ruth M.H. Peters, Michael Chen, Aliyah Esmail and Roos Geutjes.
Published by the International Federation of Anti-Leprosy Associations (ILEP) and the Neglected Tropical Disease NGO Network, London, 2019
Photo credits: Damien Foundation, Layla Aerts for Damien Foundation, CBM / Hayduk, CBM / Nick Burn, NLR / Tom Bradley, HANDA, NLR India, IDEA Nepal, Elizabeth Hollenberg, CBM / Tobias Pflanz.