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May experience negative feelings;

May be angry;

May be in denial;

May not accept condition;

May internalize stereotypes of persons with mental illness;

Shame, fear, denial may cause looking away from others;

May feel isolated socially and spiritually.

Feels misunderstood;

May be emotional & sensitive;

Begins accepting illness but may still be affected by negative perceptions of mental illness;

Attempts to gain knowledge about mental illness;

Relies on others (e.g. media) for understanding of illness and defining self.

Begins to understand & accept illness;

Reaffirms identity & separates characteristics of illness from stereotypes;

Begins to be resilient against stereotypes;

Self esteem improves;

Focuses internally, separate from mental health system.

Accepts illness;

Participates in advocacy activities;

Educates public about rights of persons with mental illness (e.g., legal, civic and constitutional).


Provides positive environment to facilitate understanding of persons in recovery;

Actively listens to consumer;

Fosters hope for recovery;

Emphasizes consumerís strengths & assets versus deficits;

Educates consumer, family members/significant others about illness, diagnosis and treatment;

Keeps abreast of current literature;

Addresses issues of stigma and supports consumer;

Engages in stigma busting behaviors & activities;

Values and fosters partnerships and inclusion among providers, families, significant others, friends and consumers.

Supports & reinforces consumer in gathering information about illness; setting appointments; identifying resources & assuming responsibility for self;

Values consumer choices;

Assists consumer in understanding consequences associated with choices;

Provides opportunities for consumer to vent & express his/her frustration;

Assists consumer in coping with internalized stigma;

Teaches stigma-busting behaviors & activities;

Views consumer as an individual versus diagnosis; and different versus deficient;

Teaches coping mechanisms that are not stigmatizing.

Provides information that emphasizes recovery;

Supports consumer during recovery process;

Emphasizes to consumer responsibilities for own actions;

Promotes & emphasizes consumer focus on living "with" mental illness versus suffering from an illness;

Challenges other clinicians/providers when they stigmatize;

Encourages consumers to challenge clinicians/providers;

Informs consumer about new medications that can decrease stigmatizing behaviors;

Assists consumer in developing & participating in stigma busting activities;

Works with consumer in confronting stigma throughout the system;

Advocates for consumer as full partner in recovery.

Assists consumer in celebrating success of his/her Recovery Management Plan;

Arranges visits to model recovery inside & outside hospital with other recovering consumers, staff and inpatients;

Reinforces non-stigmatizing behaviors;

Actively supports anti-stigma efforts;

Supports consumerís decision to disclose;

Encourages & supports consumer to access community organizations, social, cultural, spiritual and personal interest groups for validation of strengths & esteem.




Provides education opportunities that focus on understanding mental illness and the mentally ill;

Provides opportunities to reject/combat stigma (i.e., community activities);

Responds to negative stigma issues presented in the media and other venues;

Ensures that organization, staff, internal policies, etc. are stigma-free.

Establishes Consumer Speakerís Bureau & provides speakers who are doing well & willing to tell their story;

Conducts anti-stigma public relations campaigns within the community;

Provides de-stigmatizing activities for consumers to participate in.

Makes support groups available & accessible;

Conducts anti-stigma campaigns.

Involves consumer in community activities;

Promotes persons recovering from mental illness in educational programs.

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Identifies positive support system;

Seeks ways to handle anger (i.e., anger management);

Seeks out information on mental illness; meanings of mental illness;

Seeks out other consumers who have been successful in handling stigma & feelings of isolation;

Seeks out meaningful social, cultural and spiritual relationships.

Increases self- knowledge about illness, medication and mental health system;

Gains knowledge about available resources;

Accepts illness;

Becomes more trusting of service providers;

May begin to promote and participate in anti-stigma activities.

Develops short-term goals;

Focuses on vocational skills with less emphasis on personal situation;

Participates in support groups that focus on ways to improve/diffuse stigma;

Accepts illness;

Separates self from stereotypes.

Accepts his/her illness;

Seeks to educate public about mental illness and mental health;

Gets involved in community activities to help dispel stereotypical beliefs.


Office, treatment & program environments reflect anti-stigma and mental health recovery philosophy;

Recognizes importance of components of Relapse Prevention Plan and Advance Directives in decreasing stigma;

Educates family, friends and significant others about stigma;

Provides consumer with education materials;

Identifies roles in decreasing stigma;

Cross-trains mental health providers in order to minimize stigma within the mental health system;

Encourages consumer participation in community organizations (i.e., YMCA, library society, theatre groups);

Conducts positive interactions with consumers/families based upon recovery principles and expectations;

Involves consumer in groups for purpose of exploring why stigma exist.

Uses groups (e.g., Mental Health Education, Self Esteem) to discuss cause and effect of stigma and consumer responsibility for his/her actions;

Uses speakers from other groups to discuss stigma & stigma-busting strategies (e.g., AMI, Bi-Polar Bears);

Works in partnership with consumers, families/significant others in anti-stigma activities.

Encourages consumer to volunteer (e.g., food banks, nursing homes, soup kitchens and/or drop-in centers);

Develops & teaches leadership and advocacy skills;

Uses groups to focus on "good citizenship" behaviors;

Uses group discussion to focus consumer on appropriate self-disclosure;

Advocates for consumer as full partner in recovery.

Monitors the mental health system to minimize internal stigmatizing of consumers and families;

Encourages consumer to take leadership role in advocacy and support groups (e.g., AMI);

Encourages consumer to make presentation;

Creates opportunities to celebrate consumerís achievements (e.g., dinner certificates).


Community organizations sponsor stigma-busting activities;

Consumer and family organizations partner with community organizations in coordinating stigma-busting activities.

Establishes & maintains Speakersí Bureau;

Conducts anti-stigma campaigns;

Consumer & family organizations conduct media/legislative watch and response activities.

Establishes & maintains support groups;

Continues anti-stigma activities and collaboration.

Establishes and maintains support groups, anti-stigma activities and collaboratives.

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