Using group-based interaction to change stereotypes about people with mental disorders



A large body of research has examined intervention methods designed to improve attitudes towards people with mental disorders, in particular education, contact and protest. After a short review of these interventions, this paper provides a brief introduction to a new intervention that involves group-based discussion to strengthen commitment to the aims of the mental health advocacy movement. Research to date demonstrates it produces significant and lasting positive change in attitudes and willingness to participate in future action to promote the aims. Ongoing research examines the required conditions for the intervention and explores its potential to develop a cooperative community in which more members of the community, professionals and people with mental disorders work together to achieve common goals in reducing stigma.