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Examining Different Strategies for Stigma Reduction and Mental Health Promotion in Asian Men in Toronto

Abstract

Mental illness stigma has detrimental effects on health and wellbeing. Approaches to address stigma in racialized populations in Western nations need to emphasize inclusivity, social justice, and sociocultural intersectionality of determinants of health. The current paper evaluates three intervention approaches to reduce stigma of mental illness among Asian men in Toronto, Canada. Participants received one of four group interventions: psychoeducation, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Contact-based Empowerment Education (CEE), and a combination of ACT+CEE. Self-report measures on stigma (CAMI, ISMI) and social change (SJS) were administered before and after the intervention. A total of 535 Asian men completed the interventions. Overall analyses found that all intervention approaches were successful in reducing stigma and promoting social change. Subscale differences suggest that CEE may be more broadly effective in reducing mental illness stigmatizing attitudes while ACT may be more specifically effective in reducing internalized stigma. More work needs to be done to elucidate mechanisms that contribute to socioculturally-informed mental illness stigma interventions for racialized communities and traditionally marginalized populations.

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Funding

This study was funded by the Movember Foundation Grant.

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Correspondence to Kenneth Fung.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Fung, K., Liu, J.J.W., Sin, R. et al. Examining Different Strategies for Stigma Reduction and Mental Health Promotion in Asian Men in Toronto. Community Ment Health J 57, 655–666 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-020-00723-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10597-020-00723-3

Keywords

  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
  • Contact-based Empowerment Education (CEE)
  • Mental health
  • Stigma
  • Mental illness
  • Intervention research
  • Asian Men