S64: SYMPOSIUM: The National Stigma Report Card: Supporting Australia to Address Stigma about Complex Mental Health Problems

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By December 15, 2022 No Comments

Authors: Chris Groot, Imogen Rehm, Cal Andrews, Beth Hobern, Alsa Wu, Michelle Blanchard

Year: 2022

Event: 2022 TheMHS Conference

Subject: stigma, system, substance use

Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers

Abstract: SYMPOSIUM: The National Stigma Report Card: Supporting Australia to address stigma about complex mental health problems

Welcome (0:00-0:05)

Presentation 1 (0:05-0:20)
Title: Overview of the National Stigma Report Card, its outputs and impact.
Presenter: Chris Groot
Abstract: The National Stigma Report Card represents a landmark step in understanding and responding to stigma about severe and complex mental illness in Australia. The first chapter of the project, which will be described in this presentation, was undertaken in partnership between the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences and SANE Australia, and had financial support from the Paul Ramsay Foundation. The National Stigma Report Card’s Our Turn to Speak survey collected rich data from N=1912 Australians living with complex mental illness on their experiences of stigma across a range of life domains, including self-stigma, relationships, mass and social media, housing, employment, health and mental health systems, justice and more. The outputs from the National Stigma Report Card have influenced recommendations from the Royal Commission into the Victorian Mental Health System, and have contributed to the inception of the National Mental Health Commission’s National Stigma and Discrimination Strategy. This presentation will provide an overview of the National Stigma Report Card project, the Our Turn to Speak survey and its key findings, and how these have informed policy development and agitated system change.

Presentation 2 (0:20-0:40)
Title: Beyond trivialisation: The impact of stigma and discrimination among Australians living with obsessive-compulsive and related disorders
Presenter: Imogen Rehm
OCRDs are a group of mental health issues characterised by difficulties with controlling unwanted, distressing, and repetitive obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours. People living with OCRDs are often dissuaded from seeking treatment because of shame and fears that friends, family, and even healthcare professionals will dismiss or criticise them for their experiences. Indeed, research into public attitudes shared on social media has shown that obsessive-compulsive disorder is trivialised to a greater extent than schizophrenia, eating disorders, depression and physical health issues. Analysis of the Our Turn to Speak survey data provided by respondents with OCRDs revealed that their experiences of stigma went far beyond trivialisation and incurred greater impacts to their daily lives than dissuasion from treatment seeking. This presentation will describe quantitative and qualitative data to illustrate the first-hand experiences of stigma and discrimination experienced by Australians with OCRDs across numerous aspects of life, such as interpersonal relationships, employment, and social media. The findings will be discussed in relation to the implications for targeted anti-stigma interventions.

Presentation 3 (0:40-1:00)
Title: The self-stigma of severe and complex mental illness in Australia.
Presenter: Chris Groot
Abstract: Internalisation of public and structural stigma can have a range of damaging effects on people living with mental health problems, including harm to self-esteem, social withdrawal, and negative clinical outcomes. This presentation will report on the N=1912 participants who completed measures of awareness of public and structural stigma, stereotype agreement, application to the self, and resultant harm to self-esteem. In our mixed sample, those who reported living with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were most aware of stigma about their experience; however, were less likely to further internalise that stigma than participants in other diagnostic groups. In contrast, those with severe and treatment resistant depression and/or anxiety showed lower levels stigma awareness but were more likely to internalise that stigma in terms of stereotype agreement, application to the self, and lowered self-esteem. This presentation will conclude with a discussion of the importance of the findings and the challenges inherent in applying them in terms of clinical practice and systematic stigma reduction efforts.

Presentation 4 (1:00-1:15)
Title: Student Showcase
Showcase Presentation 1
Stigma in relationships for Australians living with co-occurring schizophrenia spectrum and alcohol and other drug use disorders.
Presenter: Beth Hobern
Abstract: This presentation will discuss the findings of three iterative mixed-methods studies conducted as part of the National Stigma Report Card that examine if and how multiple stigmatised identities in the form of co-occurring diagnoses of schizophrenia spectrum and AOD use disorders, are related to experiences of relationship-based discrimination, internalised stigma, and public stigma. A description of fresh data and novel insights into the complexity of the barriers faced by people with lived experience will be provided before concluding with a discussion of the implications of these findings for clinical practice and stigma reduction strategy.

Showcase Presentation 2
Title: Experienced and anticipated stigma predicts withdrawal from help-seeking for Australians living with borderline personality disorder.
Presenter: Alsa Wu
Abstract: This talk will present the findings of an investigation of National Stigma Report Card data describing stigma and discrimination in Australian mental healthcare services reported by the n=473 participants reporting a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. Participants with BPD experienced more frequent and impactful stigma when compared to those with other complex mental health issues. Furthermore, both experiences of stigma and discrimination and the anticipation thereof significantly predicted withdrawal from help seeking for mental health problems.

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