Sure - Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre

The stigmatization of people living with mental illness including addiction is all too common in Canada, including within healthcare environments. People with lived experiences of mental illness including addiction often report feeling devalued, dismissed and dehumanized by many of the healthcare professionals with whom they come into contact. Research with healthcare providers suggests that stigma can manifest in subtle and largely unintended ways. Specifically, stigma can be related to a lack of skills and confidence when working with patients with mental illness including addiction, a lack awareness of one’s own prejudices and an incomplete understanding of how important healthcare providers are in the process of recovery (Knaak & Patten, 2016).

The Understanding Stigma online course was developed for healthcare professionals and other frontline clinicians; its purpose is to examine stigmatizing attitudes and behaviours through various instructional activities. The course consists of three modules, which focus on raising awareness, the impacts of stigma, and challenging stigma and discrimination. The scenarios, interactive questions, personal stories and quizzes are intended to help change the attitudes and behaviours of healthcare providers toward people seeking help, and to address attitudes that may result in stigma toward friends, family, colleagues and ourselves.