Aim-To develop and measure consensus about which type of message should be included in population-level campaigns to reduce mental health-related stigma. Methods - A panel of 32 experts attending an international conference on mental health stigma participated in a consensus development exercise. A modified nominal group technique was used incorporating two voting rounds, an overview of research evidence and group discussion. Results - There was high consensus (≥ 80°) regarding the inclusion of two of the message types presented - (i) recovery-oriented and (ii) see the person messages, and reasonable consensus (≥ 70°) regarding (iii) social inclusion / human rights and (iv) high prevalence of mental disorders messages. Ratings differed according to whether the participant was a psychiatrist or had personal experience of mental ill health. Analysis of the qualitative data revealed four themes: (i) benefits of messages countering the ‘otherness’ of people with mental ill health; (ii) problematic nature of messages referring to aetiology; (iii) message impact being dependent on the particular audience; (iv) need for specific packages of messages. Conclusions - This study supports the use of recovery-oriented messages and see the person messages. Social inclusion / human rights messages and high prevalence of mental disorders messages also merit consideration.
Declaration of Interest: This study was funded through a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Programme grant awarded to the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and in relation to the NIHR Specialist Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. The views and opinions expressed herein are the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the funding bodies. GT has received an unrestricted educational grant from Lundbeck and commissions from the Commonwealth of Australia for a review of their mental health plan. GT and CH lead the independent evaluation team for the UK ‘Time to Change: Let's end mental health discrimination now’ programme. GT has been a member of the independent evaluation team for Scotland's ‘See Me’ campaign.