Last Saturday, I gave a keynote presentation for a conference dedicated to “shattering stigma” in Portland Oregon. The conference was put together by an interfaith group, and paid particular attention to the possible role of churches and spiritual groups in creating a better social environment for those diagnosed with mental disorders.
It is reported that people often find the job of recovering from “stigma,” or from the way a mental health diagnosis damages identity, to be more difficult than recovery from the disorder itself. So lots of people and organized groups are keen on reducing stigma. Unfortunately, most efforts aimed at reducing stigma actually make it worse!
In my talk, I explained why this is so, and what methods of reducing stigma have a chance of actually working.