Psychiatric stigma is a major barrier to the recovery of persons with serious mental illnesses. This study tested the efficacy of an innovative peer-run photography-based intervention, called antistigma photovoice, which targets self-stigma and promotes proactive coping with public stigma.
A total of 82 individuals with serious mental illnesses enrolled at a university-based recovery center were randomly assigned to the antistigma photovoice program or to a wait-list control group. Mixed-effects regression models were used to examine the impact of photovoice on self-stigma, coping with stigma, empowerment, perceived recovery, self-efficacy, and depression.
Participation in the photovoice intervention was associated with significantly reduced self-stigma, greater use of proactive coping with societal stigma, greater increase in a sense of community activism, and perceived recovery and growth.
The photovoice intervention demonstrated promise for reducing self-stigma and enhancing proactive coping with prejudice and discrimination.