Online Program

California's multi-level mental illness stigma reduction campaign: Best practices and initial outcomes

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 5:30 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.

Stephanie N. Welch, MSW, California Mental Health Services Authority, CalMHSA, Rancho Cordova, CA
Sarah Brichler, MEd, California Mental Health Services Authority, Rancho Cordova, CA
Because of its well-documented, far-reaching and destructive consequences, reducing the stigma associated with mental illness is a core component of California's prevention and early intervention programs. $60 million dollars was allocated by the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act to address this issue and improve knowledge about mental illness and recovery, change attitudes, challenge discriminatory practices, reduce public and internal stigma, and ultimately increase help-seeking behaviors. Ten programs administrated by the California Mental Health Services Authority, a joint-powers association of counties, target stigma and discrimination at all levels, across multiple domains, using a variety of evidence-based best practices. Strategies include a statewide social marketing campaign to change public perception of mental illness at all ages and across diverse cultural communities; partnering with the media and entertainment industries to promote accurate portrayal of individuals with mental illness; promoting the integration of mental health and primary healthcare; reducing discrimination through workplace training; and developing and disseminating best practices and stigma reduction resources to communities. Initial baseline assessments of existing stigma were conducted and now, mid-way into the implementation, initial outcomes are emerging. This presentation will examine California's evidence-based multi-pronged approach to stigma reduction, barriers encountered in implementation and their resolutions, lessons learned, and the available outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevention and early intervention mental illness stigma reduction best practices and programs being implemented in California Describe the evaluation of the stigma reduction programs and initial outcomes

Keyword(s): Mental Health, Mental Health System

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Ms. Welch is the Program Manager at the California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA). Ms. Welch has twelve years of experience in mental health policy analysis and advocacy, and holds an MSW from University of Southern California and a BA in Sociology, Law and Society from the University of California, Davis. Most recently, she has served as Associate Director, Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) for the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.