Self-stigma is the process whereby individuals expect to be discriminated against by society and in turn hold prejudicial beliefs about themselves. Self-stigma is particularly difficult for persons with severe mental disability (SMD) as they often experience stigma from the public and, thus, allow the public stigma to foster self-stigma. Public and self-stigma are theorised to be comprised of stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination. This paper proposes that in order to decrease self-stigma among persons with SMD, social work and mental health practitioners need to intervene on an individual and/or societal level to dispute stereotypes, prevent prejudices and combat discrimination. We propose an individual-level, anti-stigma approach utilising social constructivism, adaptive systems theory and narrative therapy to empower persons with SMD to reconstruct their sense of self that is free from stigma.
|Translated title of the contribution||An anti-stigma approach to working with persons with severe mental disability: Seeking real change through narrative change|
|Pages (from-to)||35 - 47|
|Journal||Journal of Social Work Practice|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|