Stigma towards mental disorders: characteristics and interventions

Franco Mascayano Tapia, Walter Lips Castro, Carlos Mena Poblete, Cristóbal Manchego Soza



Mental disorders in Latin-America are highly prevalent and represent a significant burden on users and their families. These people most of the times have to deal with the stigma attached to the diagnosis they receive. Stigma towards mental illness causes negative consequences for patients and family members, becoming the main barrier to full social inclusion. Considering the above, the first objective of this paper is to analyze the main characteristics of stigma towards mental illness and the psychological and social variables with which it is associated. Secondly, we describe the main strategies for reducing different types of stigma. Finally, we propose approaches to assess and reduce stigma in the context of Latin-America and the Caribbean.


Stigma; discrimination; mental disorders; social inclusion