Opening minds in Canada: background and rationale.

TitleOpening minds in Canada: background and rationale.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsStuart H, Chen S-P, Christie R, Dobson K, Kirsh B, Knaak S, Koller M, Krupa T, Lauria-Horner B, Luong D, Modgill G, Patten SB, Pietrus M, Szeto A, Whitley R
JournalCan J Psychiatry
Issue10 Suppl 1
Date Published2014 Oct
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Canada, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Health Education, Health Personnel, Health Policy, Humans, Mass Media, Mental Health Services, Mentally Ill Persons, Prejudice, Program Development, Rehabilitation, Vocational, Social Distance, Social Stigma, Workplace

OBJECTIVE: To summarize the background and rationale of the approach taken by the Mental Health Commission of Canada's Opening Minds (OM) Anti-Stigma Initiative.METHOD: The approach taken by OM incorporates a grassroots, community development philosophy, has clearly defined target groups, uses contact-based education as the central organizing element across interventions, and has a strong evaluative component, so that best practices can be identified, replicated, and disseminated. Contact-based education occurs when people who have experienced a mental illness share their personal story of recovery and hope.RESULTS: OM has acted as a catalyst to develop partnerships between community groups who are undertaking anti-stigma work and an interdisciplinary team of academic researchers in 5 universities who are evaluating the results of these programs.CONCLUSIONS: Building partnerships with existing community programs and promoting systematic evaluation using standardized approaches and instruments have contributed to our understanding of best practices in the field of anti-stigma programming.

Alternate JournalCan J Psychiatry
PubMed ID25565705
PubMed Central IDPMC4213755