Why address the stigma of mental illness and substance use disorders?


  “We argue that stigma is in fact a central driver of morbidity and mortality at a population level.” (Hatzenbuehler, Phelan, & Link, 2013)

Perceived stigma can stop people from seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders and mental illness. (Schomerus & Angermeyer, 2008)

People with mental illness are less likely to receive evidence-based treatments for heart disease, stroke, asthma & diabetes. (Druss et al., 2010)


A Note from Gretchen

Several years ago I decided to develop a training on the topic of overcoming stigma using the two most effective anti-stigma interventions: contact with a person successfully managing a mental illness (disclosing my recovery from depression at the start of each training) and education (presenting the latest research on the effects of stigma and stigma interventions).  For the past several years I have been facilitating that training in many different settings.  My favorite part of each training is using the expertise of the training participants to come up with strategies for all of us to more effectively address stigma when it arises in our workplaces, families or communities. Overcoming stigma is possible and we all have a role to play in making that happen.

Gretchen Grappone, LICSW



Gretchen Grappone Consulting offers a variety of training and consulting packages. Each training topic is guided by the latest research on effective strategies for overcoming stigma and providing evidence-based practices.

Druss B., von Esenwein S., Compton M., Rask K., Zhao L, Parker R. (2010). A randomized trial of medical care management for community mental health settings: the primary care access, referral and evaluation (PCARE) study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 167, 151–159.

Hatzenbuehler, M., Phelan, J. & Link, B. (2013). Stigma as a Fundamental Cause of Population Health Inequalities. American Journal of Public Health, 103, 813-821.

Schomerus, G., & Angermeyer,M. (2008). Stigma and its impact on help-seeking for mental disorders: what do we know? Epidemiologia e Psichiatria Sociale, 17, 31-37.