This paper aims to investigate the phenomenon of stigma in the context of mental health. After an introduction dedicated to the evolution over time of the term "stigma", its different types are analyzed using recent literature: public stigma, structural stigma, self-stigma, felt or perceived stigma, experienced stigma, label avoidance, courtesy stigma and spiritual stigma. Among the different declinations of the discriminating phenomenon, a broad description is provided of the iatrogenic one: the discrimination perpetrated by health professionals against people with mental illness. A narrative and non-systematic revision of the literature was conducted about this specific type of stigma to allow the reader an exhaustive overview for the classification of this form of stigma. The last part of the paper is dedicated to the main strategies, supported by scientific evidence, used for fighting stigma. In addition to the well-established methods such as education, protest and contact, the Italian translation of the "Coming Out Proud" manual by prof. Corrigan (Illinois Institute of Technology) is proposed as a useful tool for the fight against self-stigma. This manual is proposed to service users and mental health professionals to address the coming out process and the issue of identity. It is divided into three parts that address the key issues of disclosure: weighing the costs and benefits of coming out; consider the different strategic approaches (degrees) for disclosure; learn an effective method for formulating personal stories relating to the experience of mental illness.
Keywords: Stigma, mental health, social psychiatry, mental health services, mental health professionals, Coming Out Proud.
Luca Pingani, Giulia Reali, Paola Carozza, Stigma associated to mental illness: Types, consequences and strategies to fight it in "RIVISTA SPERIMENTALE DI FRENIATRIA" 3/2021, pp. 134-158, DOI:10.3280/RSF2021-003009