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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Last Updated: 9/17/2014

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)


Changing Minds and Inspiring Hope:
Media Strategies For Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination Associated with Mental Illness in Spanish-speaking Communities

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Teleconference Introduction

Stigma continues to hinder mental health recovery for Latinos in America.  Its impact is felt in the lack of community acceptance and full integration of people with mental illnesses.  For Latinos, stigma can manifest itself in the form of a belief that mental illnesses result from a lack of character, divine punishment, or bad parenting; that people with mental illnesses are dangerous or cannot cope; or that mental illness is incurable. Effectively addressing these stigmatizing attitudes requires cooperation and communication across an entire community. Although accurate information about the nature of mental illness and the genesis of stigma is available, appropriate and effective distribution of that information to a Spanish-speaking public requires careful planning.

Spanish-speaking communities rely heavily on print and broadcast media for vital health information. According to Univision, the largest Spanish-speaking television network in the U.S., television is the primary media for communicating this information, followed closely by radio and, increasingly, the Internet. Accordingly, any strategy designed to foster increased knowledge and decreased stigma about mental illness within Spanish-speaking communities should utilize mass media as a resource.

This teleconference is one of a four-part teleconference series that focuses on efforts to overcome prejudice and discrimination associated with mental illness and promote mental health recovery in African American, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian American and Pacific Islander, and Hispanic/Latino communities.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 11, 2005, for a presentation on identifying factors impacting stigma and stigma-reduction in Spanish-speaking communities; effectively working with Spanish-language news media to communicate about mental illness and mental health services; and successful projects and initiatives already utilizing mass media as an educational and outreach tool within Latino communities.


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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.