Stigma and prejudice

Learning outcomes:

By the end of this module you should be able to:


  • understand what is meant by stigma, prejudice, stereotype, equality, discrimination, labelling, devaluation and ultimate attribution error


  • appreciate the relevance of these concepts to mental health


  • assess current research findings on the stigma of mental illness in the general population and also within the medical profession


  • spot how mental illness is stigmatised in the media


  • compare ways of reducing stigma, including legislation and media campaigns


  • apply the Equality Act 2010 to your practice


  • play your part in reducing the stigma of mental illness.


Module introduction

Stigma and prejudice pose a significant problem for those experiencing mental illness. Every aspect of the person's life can be affected, from self-esteem to their ability to get a job.


This module will explain the concepts behind stigma and prejudice and will then set out strategies that can be used to reduce them. Not only could this improve your patients' lives and the treatment they receive, but it may also make you more aware of your own use of stigmatising language and actions.


As a mental health professional, you need to be an advocate for those with mental illness. You may need to challenge prejudicial and stigmatising attitudes in those around you  and in yourself.


Learning notes

We recommend that you make some notes as you work through this module.


The 'TrOn Notebook' facility can be accessed throughout the module (allowing you to make notes on each page), and these notes will be saved in your personal area 'My TrOn', for future reference. However, you will not be able to print these notes as one single document.


If you would prefer to make your notes in a separate document you may wish to download the 'learning notes' below. This downloadable Word document will allow you to keep a personalised record of your learning, which you can then save and/or print for future reference.


Download the learning notes document for this module


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