Examining the Impact of This Is My Brave on Mental Illness Stigma and Willingness to Seek Help: A Pilot Study

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Adult, Art, Community Mental Health Services, Female, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Health Promotion, Humans, Male, Mental Disorders, Middle Aged, Patient Acceptance of Health Care, Pilot Projects, Power (Psychology), Social Stigma, Stereotyping, Surveys and Questionnaires, United States

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This Is My Brave (TIMB) is a contact-based mental illness stigma reduction program, set in theaters, meant to reduce stigma, increase beliefs about empowerment and recovery, and improve attitudes towards treatment seeking for mental health concerns. The authors conducted the first empirical evaluation of TIMB using a pre-post survey design. Approximately 481 audience members of TIMB performances were invited to complete a survey of stigmatizing attitudes towards mental illness, beliefs about recovery and empowerment, and willingness to seek treatment at pre-and post-performance. Analyses of responses from 372 participants using paired samples t-tests revealed changes in the desired direction on all variables from pre-test to post-test. Audience members experienced a decrease in stigma, improvements in beliefs about recovery and empowerment, and greater willingness to seek treatment. TIMB is a promising stigma-reduction program and there is a need for a more detailed investigation of the program's impact using more rigorous methodology.

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Community Mental Health Journal, v. 54, issue 3, p. 276-281