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Challenging the Stigma of Mental Illness Among College Students

      Abstract

      Purpose

      This study investigated the impact of contact- and education-based antistigma interventions on mental illness stigma, affirming attitudes, discrimination, and treatment seeking among college students.

      Methods

      Data were collected from 198 students of a Chicago University campus in spring of 2014. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: a contact-based antistigma presentation, education-based presentation, or control condition. Measures of stigma, discrimination, affirming attitudes, and treatment seeking were administered at preintervention and postintervention.

      Results

      A 3 × 2 analysis of variance was completed for each measure to examine condition by trial interactions. Both contact- and education-based interventions demonstrated a significant impact on personal stigma, perceptions of empowerment, discrimination, attitudes towards treatment seeking, and intentions to seek treatment from formal sources. No difference in effect was demonstrated between the contact- and education-based conditions.

      Conclusions

      These findings suggest that these two approaches should be considered for challenging mental illness stigma among college students.

      Keywords

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