Addressing Stigma, Promoting Health and Wellbeing: Challenges and Opportunities in Relation to Interventions for Stigmatised Health Conditions
AbstractNegative stereotypes, behaviours and attitudes present many challenges for people living with various mental and physical health conditions. Stigma can introduce additional co-morbidities for the individual such as low-mood, low self-esteem, stress, anxiety, sleep deprivation and even suicidal ideation. Public stigma contributes to poor access and reduced uptake of health care supports and services and compromises concordance with necessary treatments and other preventative interventions. This symposium presents health issues and conditions that are commonly stigmatised such as depression, tobacco addiction, and overweight and obesity. It aims to report the lived experiences of individuals confronted with a stigmatised health issue, barriers to providing effective care by health professionals and challenges and opportunities of health promotion activities that are attenuated by stigmatised perceptions of the health condition. Recommendations are made on how to improve current interventions through promoting empathy and inclusivity, building better education and training as well as informing policy and decision-making in specific cultural contexts and societal settings.