Self-stigma is one of the central factors hindering social inclusion of people with a mental illness. "Improving ease of access for people with disabilities has received much attention over the past years, but accessibility for persons with mental illness has not gained adequate attention," says Prof. David Roe of the University of Haifa, who led the study.
A new intervention, the result of a collaboration between researchers from the University of Haifa, City University of New York and Indiana University, was found to reduce the self-stigma and improve the quality of life and self-esteem among persons with serious mental illness.
"Just like wheelchairs and Braille have increased social integration for people with physical handicaps, there is also a need to identify and remove the barriers to community inclusion for people with serious mental illness," says Prof. Roe, Chair of the Department of Community Mental Health, Faculty of Social Welfare and Health Sciences at the University of Haifa who led the study together with his colleagues from the US - Professors Paul H. Lysaker from Indiana University School of Medicine, Dept of Psychiatry and Philip T. Yanos of the Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, and from Israel – Dr. Ilanit Hasson-Ohayon, Yaara Zisman-Ilani and Oren Deri.
Much attention has been given to providing accessibility to all facilities intended for the public, in striving to gain equality for people with physical disabilities. But while the obstacles facing the physically challenged can be relatively easily identified, pinpointing the obstacles that persons with a mental illness must overcome is much harder.
According to Prof. Roe, earlier studies have shown that one of the central obstacles is the negative stigma attached to mental illness by society at large, which is much more powerful than the labels attached to people with other disabilities. This stigma may lead to social exclusion. Another obstacle that may result from stigma is "self-stigma", whereby people with a mental illness adopt and internalize the social stigma and experience loss of self-esteem and self efficacy. "People with a mental illness with elevated self-stigma report low self-esteem and low self-image, and as a result they refrain from taking an active role in various areas of life, such as employment, housing and social life," Prof. Roe explains.
In an attempt to address this problem, Prof. Philip Yanos of City University of New York Prof. David Roe and Prof. Paul Lysaker of Indiana University School of Medicine, with the help of a research grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, developed what they term "Narrative Enhancement Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (NECT)", which is aimed at giving people with a mental illness the necessary tools to cope with the "invisible " barrier to social inclusion - self-stigma.
The research team ran a twenty-meeting pilot course of the new intervention at three separate locations: New York, Indiana and Israel. Following the pilot run, Prof. Roe headed a study in Israel, in which 21 people with a mental illness (with at least 40% mental handicap) completed the intervention. This study examined the effects of the intervention compared to a control group of 22 mentally ill people of similar disabilities who did not participate in the intervention. It showed that those who participated in the intervention exhibited a reduced self-stigma and, in parallel, an increase in quality of life and self-esteem.
"The intervention method that we developed helps persons with mental illness cope with one of the central obstacles that they face – self-stigma. We hope to be able to train more professionals in this intervention and root the method in rehabilitation centers and community health centers, so as to assist in recuperation processes and in community inclusion over a larger and more significant population of people with a mental illness," Prof. Roe concludes.
For more details contact Rachel Feldman • Tel: +972-4-8288722Amir Gilat, Ph.D.
Amir Gilat | University of Haifa
Drought hits rivers first and more strongly than agriculture
06.09.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biogeochemie
Landslides triggered by human activity on the rise
23.08.2018 | European Geosciences Union
The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.
This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.
Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...
Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.
"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...
A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.
Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...
Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.
An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...
21.09.2018 | Event News
03.09.2018 | Event News
27.08.2018 | Event News
21.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
21.09.2018 | Life Sciences
21.09.2018 | Event News