Looking below the surface: developing critical literacy skills to reduce the stigma of mental disorders

Margaret McAllister
Journal of Nursing Education 2008, 47 (9): 426-30
Although clinicians and the public are more informed about the factors that give rise to mental disorders, stigmatization does not seem to be abating. This article argues for one solution: altering the way students are taught, moving beyond content toward a focus on enticing attitudinal shifts, such as empathy and personal commitment to social change. This article describes a strategy for learners to develop critical literacy skills and to acknowledge and develop their role in encouraging students to become critical agents who possess the knowledge and courage to struggle against despair and to embrace hope.

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