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Stigma, Discrimination, and Promoting Human Rights 

Stigma, Discrimination, and Promoting Human Rights
Stigma, Discrimination, and Promoting Human Rights

Nisha Mehta

and Graham Thornicroft

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date: 23 June 2021

Stigma and discrimination against people with mental illness are common, deeply damaging and result in profound social exclusion. This chapter examines the experience of stigma and discrimination and related violation of human rights. We define stigma as consisting of three interrelated problems of lack of knowledge, negative attitudes and rejecting behaviour, and how this impinges on human rights. Examination of global patterns and prevalence of stigma reveals that this is a widespread endemic global problem. The devastating impact of stigma and discrimination at both the individual and societal levels are discussed. There is a growing body of work in anti-stigma interventions and we consider this in detail, including an exploration of the active elements in anti stigma campaigns and we suggest actions that could be taken to systemically tackle system level stigma. We conclude with a call for continued global efforts to conduct and evaluate anti stigma interventions.

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