Research Staff: Akwatu Khenti (Principal Investigator), Patrick Corrigan (Principal Investigator), Emily Lentinello (Research Coordinator), Marina Bourlak (Research Coordinator), Mark van der Maas (Post-Doctoral Fellow), and, Marcos Sanches (Data Analyst).
Project Team: Branka Agic, Sireesha J. Bobbili, Hayley Hamilton, Robert Mann, Scott Patten, Jaime C. Sapag, and Heather Stuart.
A Cluster Randomized Control Trial Study Exploring Stigmatization and Recovery-Based Perspectives Regarding Mental Illness and Substance Use Problems among Primary Healthcare Providers across Toronto, Ontario
Stigma has been identified as one of the leading barriers to seeking help (MHCC site). Stigma occurs when someone directly or indirectly treats someone differently or poorly because of some identifying feature or condition. The experience of stigma is often more harmful than the illness itself as stigma can create feelings of shame, isolation, sadness, and frustration. Stigma is often conveyed unknowingly as the perpetrator believes they are acting fairly without realizing the impact of their implicit biases. Subtle examples of stigmatizing behaviour may include crossing one’s arms, avoidance, facial expressions, or making assumptions. More overt forms of stigma can include accusatory behaviour based on preconceived notions, refusal to speak to someone because of their condition, and belittling.
These examples are certainly not exhaustive as stigma can occur in many forms. If someone has experienced stigma once, they are likely to remember that experience and this will impact their future decision making. For example, if one feels stigmatized by a healthcare provider, they may be less likely to seek care from any healthcare provider in the future.
Why does this matter?
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