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Presented by: Marcia Gibson London UK January 23, 2009

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Presented by: Marcia Gibson London UK January 23, 2009. Why do we label?. What is Beyond the Label?. An educational kit for people working in the fields of mental health and/or addiction treatment

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Presentation Transcript
Presented by:

Marcia Gibson

London UK

January 23, 2009

what is beyond the label
What is Beyond the Label?
  • An educational kit for people working in the fields of mental health and/or addiction treatment
  • An interactive framework to discuss, learn, understand and reflect on the impact of stigma on people living with concurrent mental health and substance use problems
Concurrent disorders

Any combination of mental health and substance use disorders.

Some examples are:

  • an anxiety problem and a drinking problem
  • schizophrenia and cannabis dependence
  • borderline personality disorder and heroin dependence
  • depression and dependence on sleeping pills
Why was it developed?

Forty to sixty per cent of people who have mental health problems will also have a substance use problem during their lifetime. These percentages are similar for people who seek help for their substance use.

Health Canada (2001). Best practices: Concurrent Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders. Ottawa: Author.

Service Provider Stigma

Negative attitudes toward clients with concurrent disorders can arise for several reasons. These may include:

  • Attribution of responsibility
  • Feelings of inadequacy, frustration, disappointment when working with client with complex needs
  • Perception of poor prognosis
what are the objectives
What are the objectives?
  • To help service providers ensure that their services are accessible and that their attitudes and practices are supportive of people living with concurrent disorders.
  • To provide mental health and addiction workers with a concrete tool that they can use in their agencies and in the community to raise awareness about the stigma associated with concurrent disorders.
who developed btl
Who developed BTL?
  • A CAMH team including two volunteers living with concurrent disorders, an education specialist, a product developer and program consultants from different areas in the province of Ontario
  • 15 reviewers
  • 17 pilot facilitators
What’s inside the kit?
  • 10 stigma-busting activities (menu)
  • Master sheets to use as photocopy handouts
  • Background information for facilitators
  • Presentation tips
  • Discussion points
  • Examples of opportune times to use the kit
the activities explore
The activities explore:
  • The facts and myths about concurrent disorders
  • The power of language and how words can wound
  • Stigma, prejudice and discrimination as barriers to recovery for people living with concurrent mental health and substance use problems
  • Ways we can incorporate anti-stigma practices into our work
  • Ways we can all be part of the solution.
Sample activity #3

Rethinking Normal

how was btl tested
How was BTL tested?
  • 12 pilot workshops
  • 13 different facilitators
  • 10 different communities in Ontario, Canada
  • 159 participants
  • Pre-test/post-test evaluation tool
pilot test results
Pilot test results

After the workshop, participants indicated that they:

  • Had a better understanding of concurrent disorders
  • Felt more comfortable interacting with clients with CD
  • Had an increased awareness of the the effect of stigma on people with CD
  • Were more intent on addressing stigma whenever they could
  • Promotion started before the kit was completed
  • Regular project updates got people interested in what was to come
  • The needs assessment, review and pilot processes were opportunities to promote Beyond the Label….so we did!
feeding the elephant
Feeding the elephant

The Dissemination Plan

  • Recruited and oriented CAMH program consultants across Ontario
  • PCs were encouraged to co-facilitate BTL presentations with key stakeholders in their community
  • Stigma-busters received copies of the manual
  • Promotional materials widely distributed
  • Data collected every 3 months
the stats
The stats

Over a 3-year period, 3,983 individuals attended one of 198 BTL sessions

today btl lives on
Today, BTL lives on…

Incorporated into:

  • Talking About Mental Illness presentations in secondary schools
  • Workplace health presentations
  • A Concurrent Disorders and Housing workshop
  • Mental Health and Addiction 101 online tutorials
  • Concurrent disorders curriculum for colleges and universities
keys to success
Keys to success
  • Kept focus on Concurrent Disorders
  • A project budget to produce the kit
  • Easy to incorporate BTL activities into other learning modules
  • Accessible
  • CAMH’s provincial capacity in policy, education and health promotion
Keys to success (con’t)
  • Available in English and French
  • Easy to use; no train-the-trainer required
  • Time to get stakeholders involved, incorporate their feedback and anticipate the product
  • Leadership and passion
things you can do to stamp out stigma
Things you can do to stamp out stigma
  • Acknowledge the prevalence of concurrent mental health and substance use problems.
  • Try to “walk in the shoes” of a person who is stigmatized.
  • Watch your language.
  • Monitor media and openly critique stigmatizing material.
  • Respond directly to stigmatizing material with a letter to the editor.
  • Speak up about stigma to friends, family and colleagues.
  • Be aware of your own attitudes and judgements.
  • Provide support for organizations that fight stigma.
for further information
For further information

This resource is available at:

Marcia Gibson, Program Consultant

[email protected]

1-613-569-6024 ext: 8209