Qualitative evaluation of an anti-stigma intervention to reduce the impact of stigma in individuals with mental illness
Mental Illness , Behavioural Modification , Stigma , Mood Disorder , Anxiety Disorder
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a group-based, psychoeducational and behavioural modification intervention, Overcoming Stigma in Mood and Anxiety Disorders, in reducing the impact of mental-illness-related stigma. A secondary objective was to explore the nature of behavioural changes that follow the intervention. Methods: Qualitative data was collected from focus groups and coded to generate themes. Thematic analysis was used to develop and modify a Theory of Change model for future program development. Results: Seventeen themes were generated. The themes were exploratory in nature and were categorized under the following sections: living with mental illness, program evaluation, and behavioural change. Conclusion: The results of this study have been encouraging. Qualitative understanding of this anti-stigma intervention can assist with future program development. Understanding the nature of behavioural change can guide development of impactful quantitative surveys for use in a broader evaluation. Enhanced evidence-based anti-stigma interventions can help individuals overcome self-stigma in order to have a full and meaningful life.