Stigma may interfere with mental health service use. We measured self-stigma and stigma-related cognitions (group identification and perceived legitimacy of discrimination) at baseline in 85 people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective or affective disorders. After 6 months, 75 (88%) had reported use of mental health services. Controlling for baseline psychopathology, perceived stigma and diagnosis, low perceived legitimacy of discrimination predicted use of counselling/psychotherapy. Strong group identification was associated with participation in mutual-help groups. More self-stigma predicted psychiatric hospitalisation. Cognitive indicators of stigma resilience may predict out-patient service use, whereas self-stigma may increase the risk of psychiatric hospitalisation.