Author(s): Claire Henderson, Elizabeth Corker, Elanor LewisHolmes, Sarah Hamilton, Clare Flach
Objective: This study evaluated the progress at one year of England's Time to Change (TTC) program, launched in 2009, toward meeting its target to reduce mental health-related stigma and discrimination by 5%.
Methods: TTC comprises three national components: antistigma marketing campaign activities, mass physical exercise events (Time to Get Moving) to facilitate social contact between people with and without mental health problems, and an online resource on mental health and employment (Time to Challenge). Part of the TTC evaluation consists of an annual national phone survey of mental health service users. Participants (537 in 2008 and 1,047 in 2009) were current outpatient service users aged 18–65 registered with National Health Service community mental health teams that are selected annually to represent the range of socioeconomic deprivation. Telephone interviews were conducted with service users with the Discrimination and Stigma Scale (DISC) to document experienced discrimination and anticipated discrimination in the past 12 months.
Results: One or more experiences of discrimination were reported by 9-1% of participants in 2008 and 87% of participants in 2009 (p=.03). In 2009 significantly less discrimination was reported from a number of common sources, including family (reported by 53% in 2008 and 46% in 2009), friends (53% and 39%), finding employment (24% and 16%), and keeping employment (from 17% to 13%). Experiences of discrimination from mental health professionals did not change significantly (reported by about one-third of participants in both years).
Conclusions: Results suggest positive progress toward meeting the program's targeted 5% reduction in discrimination.