Contact and stigma toward mental illness: Measuring the effectiveness of two video interventions
Researchers have demonstrated that mental illness stigma is both prevalent in our society and has serious negative consequences for mentally ill persons and their friends and family (Corrigan, 2004a). One of the ways researchers have found to reduce mental health stigma is through contact with persons with mental illness (Corrigan et al., 2002; Desforges et al., 1991; Schulze, Richter-Werling, & Angermeyer, 2003). Researchers have also shown that indirect methods of contact, such as videos, can be both effective in reducing stigma toward mental illness and in reaching large groups of individuals (Reinke, Corrigan, Leonhard, Lundin, & Kubiak, 2004). The goal of the current study is to assess the impact of two different video interventions involving indirect contact with persons with mental illness on reducing stigma. The first focused on personal stories of those experiencing mental illness. The second focused on the stories of friends and family members in their support of those experiencing mental illness. The two treatment videos were compared at three time points (pre-test, post-test, and follow-up) to a control video. Participants were 319 undergraduates at a large mid-western university. Results using mixed model Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) indicated the treatment interventions did not significantly impact stigma toward mental illness when compared to the control condition, though, all videos led to some short-term changes in stigma. Future studies aimed at reducing stigma may want to more closely examine the necessary ingredients associated with changing stigma when using a video intervention.