Changing hearts and minds: The importance of formal education in reducing stigma associated with mental health conditions: The importance of formal education in reducing stigma associated with mental health conditions

Margaret Hampson, Bruce D. Watt, Richard E. Hicks, Andrew Bode, Elizabeth Hampson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: The expansion of user-friendly mental health services for young people is an important goal of mental health reform in Australia; however, stigma and discrimination associated with mental health conditions constitute major deterrents to help-seeking among young people. Objective: This paper reports on a qualitative study conducted in South East Queensland, which explored perceptions concerning employment barriers and support needs of people living with psychosis. Method: Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 137 participants comprising community members, employers, clients, carers, employment consultants and health professionals. Results: Stigma and discrimination were identified as major employment barriers for people living with psychosis. The formal education system was seen as a key means to overcome stigma and discrimination through improved awareness and understanding of mental health problems. Conclusion: This paper highlights participants’ views on how the formal education system might be adapted to increase public awareness and understanding of psychosis and reduce community stigma and discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-211
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number2
Early online date4 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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