Ending self-stigma: pilot evaluation of a new intervention to reduce internalized stigma among people with mental illnesses

Alicia Lucksted, Amy Drapalski, Christine Calmes, Courtney Forbes, Bruce DeForge, Jennifer Boyd
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal 2011, 35 (1): 51-4

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated "Ending Self-Stigma" (ESS), a structured 9-session group intervention to help people with serious mental illnesses reduce internalized stigma.

METHODS: Participants from two Veterans Administration mental health sites were assessed before and after the intervention regarding their levels of internalized stigma, empowerment, recovery orientation, perceived social support, and beliefs about societal stigma.

RESULTS: Internalized stigma significantly decreased, and perceived social support and recovery orientation significantly increased.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: "Ending Self-Stigma" is the first of its kind and may be a valuable intervention for reducing internalized stigma among people with serious mental illnesses, suitable for both professionally-delivered psychiatric rehabilitation programs and consumer-led programs and services.

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