SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)
Washington State Mental Health Transformation Project
The theme of the Washington State Mental Health Transformation Project's Social Marketing Initiative is, "Recovery happens. Be part of the change." The purpose of this initiative was to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental illness and the barriers it creates in the work setting, at home, within the healthcare system, and in the community. The primary means of eliminating stigma are to increase the understanding that people with mental illness can and do recover and can live fulfilling and productive lives.
The Social Marketing Initiative was based on information from formative research (focus groups with consumers, providers and administrators of mental health services, and policy makers), current literature, and expert recommendations from a task force made up of representatives from the provider perspective, the consumer perspective, and the public policy perspective.
Several strategies of the Social Marketing Initiative were implemented with strategies based on the best practices for stigma reduction identified by Patrick Corrigan (contact, education, and protest/reward), as well as results from the formative research.
The key contact strategy is a speakers' bureau and workshop titled "Change Stigma, Support Recovery: A Workshop for Mental Health Professionals." This workshop combines the personal narratives of individuals with mental illnesses with discussion around how to promote recovery and reduce stigmatizing attitudes, behaviors, and practices within the mental health provider community.
The education strategy focused on the creation of training materials for target audiences. Key audiences for this initiative include with mental illness (consumers), providers of public mental health services, and policy makers. These audiences were identified as key groups that held the power to change stigma and support recovery in Washington State.
Focus groups with consumers uncovered a need for a resource on navigating the mental health system in Washington State. A booklet titled "Feeling Better: A Guide to the Mental Health System and Getting the Help You Need" was created with assistance from consumers and is currently out for review. Three other documents compiling research and information on recovery were also developed and are also currently out for review. These documents are targeted toward people with mental illness, providers of mental health services, and administrators of mental health services.
The protest and reward strategy is a news bureau and editorial board to respond to stigmatizing media portrayals of people with mental illnesses and encourage positive stories of recovery. The plan for the Social Marketing Initiative was developed in November 2006, and specific activities are currently being implemented.
The Washington State Mental Health Transformation Project is now ended as of December 30, 2010.
The main content of this website has been moved to the new DBHR website at http://www.dshs.wa.gov/dbhr/mhtransgrant.shtml.