Fighting stigma of mental illness in midsize European countries

  • Alina Beldie
  • Johan A. den Boer
  • Cecilia Brain
  • Eric Constant
  • Maria Luisa Figueira
  • Igor Filipcic
  • Benoît Gillain
  • Miro Jakovljevic
  • Marek Jarema
  • Daniela Jelenova
  • Oguz Karamustafalioglu
  • Blanka Kores Plesnicar
  • Andrea Kovacsova
  • Klara Latalova
  • Josef Marksteiner
  • Filipa Palha
  • Jan Pecenak
  • Jan Prasko
  • Dan Prelipceanu
  • Petter Andreas Ringen
  • Norman Sartorius
  • Erich Seifritz
  • Jaromir Svestka
  • Magdalena Tyszkowska
  • Johannes Wancata



Stigma is the most powerful obstacle to the development of mental health care. Numerous activities aiming to reduce the stigma of mental illness and the consequent negative discrimination of the mentally ill and their families have been conducted in Europe. Descriptions of many of these activities are not easily available, either because there are no publications that describe them, or because descriptions exist only in local languages. This supplement aims to help in overcoming this imbalance by providing a description of anti-stigma activities in 14 countries in Europe regardless of the language in which they were published and regardless whether they were previously published.


The review was undertaken by experts who were invited to describe anti-stigma activities in the countries in which they reside. It was suggested that they use all the available evidence and that they consult others in their country to obtain a description of anti-stigma activities that is as complete as possible.


The anti-stigma activities undertaken in the countries involved are presented in a tabular form. The texts contributed by the authors focus on their perception of the stigma of mental illness and of activities undertaken to combat it in their country.


Although much has been done against the stigmatization and discrimination of the mentally ill, fighting stigma remains an essential task for mental health programs and for society. The descriptions summarized in this volume might serve as an inspiration for anti-stigma work and as an indication of potential collaborators in anti-stigma programs.


Mental health Stigma of mental illness Anti-stigma activities Mental disorders in European countries Psychiatry 



Cecilia Brain would like to thank Professor Lars Hansson at Lund University. Eric Constant would like to thank Katrien De Bruyckere, Eli Lilly and Company, for her contribution to the translation of his text into English. Jan Pecenak would especially like to thank Alexandra Fischerová (†), Executive Manager, League for Mental Health, Bratislava, Slovakia; Bárová Marcela, Executive director, ODOS, Slovakia; and Anton Heretik, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Philosophy, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia. Petter Andreas Ringen would like to thank Professor Jan Olav Johannesen from Stavanger University Hospital for his kind help. The authors would like to thank Claudia Deix, Eli Lilly and Company, for her most valuable support in editorial matters and Eli Lilly and Company for supporting the cost of this publication.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest in relation to this paper. Eli Lilly and Company covered the costs for publication. The text of the supplement was created independently and Eli Lilly and Company did not influence the form or content of the publication in any way.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alina Beldie
    • 1
  • Johan A. den Boer
    • 2
  • Cecilia Brain
    • 3
  • Eric Constant
    • 4
  • Maria Luisa Figueira
    • 5
  • Igor Filipcic
    • 6
  • Benoît Gillain
    • 7
  • Miro Jakovljevic
    • 6
  • Marek Jarema
    • 8
  • Daniela Jelenova
    • 9
  • Oguz Karamustafalioglu
    • 10
  • Blanka Kores Plesnicar
    • 11
  • Andrea Kovacsova
    • 9
  • Klara Latalova
    • 9
  • Josef Marksteiner
    • 12
  • Filipa Palha
    • 13
    • 14
  • Jan Pecenak
    • 15
  • Jan Prasko
    • 9
  • Dan Prelipceanu
    • 16
  • Petter Andreas Ringen
    • 17
  • Norman Sartorius
    • 18
  • Erich Seifritz
    • 19
  • Jaromir Svestka
    • 20
  • Magdalena Tyszkowska
    • 8
  • Johannes Wancata
    • 21
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry MiddelfartRegion of Southern DenmarkMiddelfartDenmark
  2. 2.University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG)GroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and NeurochemistryInstitute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden
  4. 4.Catholic University of LouvainBrusselsBelgium
  5. 5.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of LisbonLisbonPortugal
  6. 6.Department of PsychiatryUniversity Hospital Center ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  7. 7.Clinic Saint-PierreOttigniesBelgium
  8. 8.3rd Department of PsychiatryInstitute of Psychiatry and NeurologyWarsawPoland
  9. 9.Faculty HospitalPsychiatric DepartmentOlomoucCzech Republic
  10. 10.Uskudar University, Institute of Health SciencesIstanbulTurkey
  11. 11.University Psychiatric Clinic LjubljanaLjubljana-PoljeSlovenia
  12. 12.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy ALKH HallHallAustria
  13. 13.Faculty of Psychology and EducationPortuguese Catholic UniversityPortoPortugal
  14. 14.ENCONTRAR+SE - Associação de Apoio a Pessoas com Perturbação Mental GravePortoPortugal
  15. 15.Faculty of MedicineClinic of Psychiatry, University HospitalBratislavaSlovakia
  16. 16.Department of PsychiatryCarol Davila Medicine and Pharmacy UniversityBucharestRomania
  17. 17.Specialized Inpatient Department, Gaustad, Division for Mental Health and AddictionOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  18. 18.Association for the Improvement of Mental Health ProgrammesGenevaSwitzerland
  19. 19.Clinic of Affective Disorders and General Psychiatry, University Hospital of Psychiatry ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  20. 20.Faculty HospitalPsychiatric DepartmentBrnoCzech Republic
  21. 21.Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Division of Social PsychiatryMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria

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