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    Fighting stigma of mental illness in midsize European countries.

    Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 2012 Apr;47 Suppl 1:1-38
    Department of Psychiatry Middelfart, Region of Southern Denmark, Middelfart, Denmark.
    Purpose: 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.

    Methods: 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.

    Results: 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.

    Conclusions: 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.
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