A TOOLKIT for Evaluating Programs Meant to Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness (pdf article)


Anti-stigma programs have exploded in the United States as well as across the world in the past decade. Now needed is a more strategic approach to stigma change, consideration of evaluation strategies that demonstrate its effectiveness. An evidence-based approach has two purposes.

• Using carefully crafted methods and design, conduct efficacy and effectiveness data on individual anti-stigma approaches to inform policy makers about approaches that should be supported by public funds.

• Collect evidence that a specific approach has benefits in the setting in which it is being used. We would expect, for example, that Dr. Jones would use a depression measure like the Beck Depression Inventory overtime to demonstrate the amelioration of Ms. Smith’s disorder in response to a medication. So too is the need for collecting data over time that shows stigma decreases as a result of the anti-stigma approach; e.g., stigmatizing attitudes diminishes with a group of employers from the Rotary International in Evanston after they participate in the Personal Story Program” (PSP)1. Research and evaluation on all aspects of stigma and stigma change are only genuine and of value when stakeholders of all stripes…

– consumers, survivors and ex-patients – family members and friends

– service providers and administrators – other groups of advocates

– legislators and other government officials are included in the research. Participation here not only includes focus groups but also as active investigators in the research.

This toolkit provides measures that help advocates to examine the impact of anti-stigma approaches at the local level; for example, whether employer stigma changes after participating in In Our Own Voice (IOOV). These instruments also have value in more rigorous research meant to inform policy makers. Corrigan has the copyrights to all the measures and extends permission to use the measures in any way that promotes careful evaluation of stigma and stigma programs. Measures are provided here so that they might be directly copied and handed out to research participants.


by Patrick Corrigan, Illinois Institute of Technology. Note: Revised February 3, 2012

This work was made possible by grants MH62198-01 and MH085981 for the National Consortium on Stigma and Empowerment, plus MH66059-01 and AA014842-01 with P. Corrigan, P.I. All the materials herein solely represent the research and subsequent opinion of the P.I.


California Association of Mental Health Peer-Run Organizations (CAMHPRO) is an incorporated non-profit consumer-run statewide organization consisting of member entities which are consumer-run organizations and programs, and individuals.

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