Professors fight stigma of mental health

Professors fight stigma of mental health

May 15, 2013


Fighting the stigma of mental health disorders is the focus of a new research program designed by Queen’s University researchers Heather Stuart (Community Health and Epidemiology) and Roumen Milev (Psychiatry).

The program, Overcoming Stigma in Mood and Anxiety Disorders, is a joint initiative between Queen’s University and Providence Care designed to help shed light on the effects of mental health stigma.

“The fight against stigma and its consequences are considered by a number of international organizations as the most important challenge of our times,” says Dr. Stuart, the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair. “We need to change the way people think about mental illness, change the fears and prejudices so those affected will be treated fairly and without stigma.”

The program can accommodate eight to 10 participants and runs for two hours each week for seven weeks. Drs. Stuart and Milev have led a team including students, mental health professionals and people with lived experience of a mental illness to design a program to give those diagnosed with a mental health disorder hope for the future.

“These professors are the leading experts in their field and that raises the profile of the program,” says program facilitator Caroline Petznick. “The goal is to get people to talk about mental illnesses in a comfortable setting and to learn how to deal with stigmatizing experiences and reduce their impact.”

Funding for the program is being provided by the Bell Canada Mental Health and Anti-stigma Research Chair mental health initiative.

Please contact Caroline Petznick at